Iran’s Rouhani faces protests at site of deadly mine collapse

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani faces furious protests from victims’ families during a visit to the site of a mine accident that claimed dozens of lives, two weeks ahead of an election.

Local news agencies showed people atop Rouhani’s car and beating its windows as it tried to make its way through an angry crowd at the site in the northern Golestan province, where at least 26 people were killed by an explosion on Wednesday.

Rouhani, who is up for re-election on May 19, earlier addressed the crowd, saying: “The entire Iranian nation shares the sorrow of families of those killed in the Zemestan Yort mine accident. “Those responsible and anyone who had a fault in the incident must be found and dealt with accordingly, without any exceptions.”

As well as 26 confirmed dead, at least nine more miners were trapped inside after Wednesday’s explosion, but officials say there is little chance they have survived. The accident is thought to have been caused by concentrated methane gas that was triggered when workers tried to jump-start an engine.

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