Honduras landslide traps 11 gold miners

Emergency crews in Honduras are working to rescue almost a dozen workers after they became trapped inside a small gold mine in San Juan Arriba, located 110 kilometres south of the capital, Tegulcigalpa.

Firefighters have made contact with at least three miners, authorities say

Miners talk to colleagues standing at the entrance of a gold mine blocked by a landslide in San Juan Arriba, Honduras on Thursday. Rescuers laboured with pickaxes and shovels to try to dig out 11 miners trapped by a landslide at the mine. (Jorge Cabrera/Reuters)

A landslide at the entrance of a small gold mine in southern Honduras trapped at least 11 miners underground on Wednesday, firefighters said.

A rescue operation was underway at the mine in San Juan Arriba, 110 kilometres south of the capital, Tegucigalpa. Firefighters said they had made contact with three of the workers, though eight were missing.

"We have had contact with three of the workers that are trapped and we are working carefully removing earth and stone to reach and rescue them," said Lieutenant Manuel de Jesus Reyes, a firefighter in the nearby city of Choluteca.

Reyes said that his team had to work slowly and carefully to avoid causing another landslide.

Siriaco Diaz, head of the Choluteca firefighters, said earlier that oxygen was being passed to miners via a hose, and that they were communicating by shouting.

Diaz said the mine was up to 80 metres deep.