The death toll of Pakistan’s two separate coal mine collapses, which took place on Saturday in southwestern Balochistan province, rose to 23, officials said on Sunday.

Chief Inspector of Mines Iftikhar Ahmad said the death toll rose after five more bodies were recovered from a mine in Margit area near Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

According to the official, overall, seven people were killed and two others sustained serious injuries in the incident in Margit area. However, he said the reason behind the mine collapse has not been known yet.

Earlier on Saturday, local media reported that an explosion triggered by gas caused the incident.

The rescue work is still in process at the mine, as it is feared that some people remained buried under the debris very deep. Rescue officials feared the death toll would further rise.

In another incident in Marwar area near Quetta, at least 16 miners were killed and nine others injured after the mine caved in following an explosion caused by the accumulation of the methane gas, the official said.

The government reportedly plans to start separate inquiries into the two accidents.

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