Ecuador mine collapse kills 2 workers

Rescue crews in Ecuador have found the bodies of two of four miners trapped by a tunnel collapse 150 metres underground.

2 miners still missing

Search teams found the bodies of two miners Saturday and were still looking for two other men missing since a tunnel collapsed 150 metres underground the previous day.

Deputy Mining Minister Jorge Espinosa identified the two known dead as Walter Vera and Paul Aguirre. He said searchers still held hopes they could rescue the two missing miners, Pedro Mendoza and Angel Vera.

"We hope to find the two other miners alive because they were in a spot that probably was not affected" by the cave-in, Espinosa said.

Juan Cando, president of the Sadco mine, said searchers were trying to clear away fallen rock to get to the area where the missing miners were thought to be working, according to a government statement.

The accident happened early Friday in the fifth level of a gold mine near the town of Portovelo, about 400 kilometres southwest of the capital, Quito.