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Rescue workers search for survivors after a collapse at a marble quarry in the Ziarat area of Mohmand, Pakistan, on Sept. 8, 2020.STRINGER/Reuters

Rescue crews using heavy machinery pulled eight more bodies on Tuesday from a collapsed marble mine in northwestern Pakistan, raising the death toll from the incident to 16, officials said.

The cause of the cave-in was not known. Mining accidents are common in Pakistan, where safety regulations are often ignored.

An estimated 30 miners were loading marble onto trucks Monday when huge boulders fell on them at the mine in the district of Mohmand near the Afghan border.

The first eight bodies were pulled out the same day, while eight more were retrieved on Tuesday, according to Khateer Ahmad, in charge of the state-run emergency service in the northwest.

He said there were still more miners trapped under the huge boulders.

According to the provincial labour minister, Shaukat Yousafzai, the cave-in also injured nine miners. There was speculation among local residents that explosives were detonated to extract the marble, triggering a rockslide.

However, officials said an investigation was still underway to determine the cause of the cave-in.

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