(Adds new comments from official)
TEGUCIGALPA, July 2 (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 under way at the mine in San Juan Arriba, 110 km (70 miles) 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 meters (260 feet) deep. (Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Christine Murray; Editing by Nick Macfie)