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Pakistan Coal Mine Blast Kills 45

Mine workers and residents gather outside a coal mine after a explosion in Sorange near Quetta, Pakistan, March 20, 2011

The death toll from Sunday's methane gas explosion at a Pakistani coal mine has increased to at least 45.

Workers on Monday recovered two dozen more bodies from the mine located outside of Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province. Officials say chances of finding any survivors are slim.

More than 50 miners were trapped about 1,200 meters underground Sunday, when explosions triggered by methane gas ripped through the mine.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the presence of the poisonous gas.

The mine is owned by the the state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation and leased to a contractor. Officials say the mine was declared dangerous two weeks ago.