An explosion at an underground coal mine in north-eastern Colombia has killed at least 20 miners and wounded six others.

Colombia’s mining regulatory agency, Ingeominas official Marisa Fernandez, told Reuters that the blast at the La Preciosa mine in Sardinata was probably caused by a methane gas build-up.

The Colombian Government has ordered the closure of the mine and started a rescue operation for survivors.

The government said Chile is sending a group of rescuers to join its rescue operations.