Twenty-seven Afghan miners trapped underground have been found dead in the northern province of Samangan, officials have confirmed to the BBC.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Seddiq Azizi said that the men had been working at the Abkhorak coal mine when part of it collapsed.
Four members of the rescue teams were badly injured.
An official said the rescue teams did not have the appropriate equipment. Mining is a state-controlled industry.
It is feared that at least 13 other miners could still be trapped in the mine 215km (135 miles) north of the capital, Kabul.
The collapse is the latest accident to hit Afghanistan’s mining industry.
In December, 11 miners were reported to have been killed in a similar incident in the northern province of Baghlan.
Afghanistan is known to have vast reserves of oil, gas, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium.
The country is also known to have a wider array of mineral resources; in 2010, the Afghan ministry of mines claimed its reserves were worth nearly $1tn (£0.63tn)