Two workers were killed Friday when a gas explosion caused a cave-in at a coal mine in the southwestern Colombian province of Valle del Cauca.

"It's confirmed that the two miners died, but it has not been possible to recover (the bodies) because there is a lot of gas," the chief engineer at the El Remanso mine, Luis Fernando Rivera, told Efe.

The first team from the National Mining Agency was unable to retrieve the dead, but a second team is en route to the mine in Jamundi, Rivera said.

Firefighters and other specialists will persist in efforts to recover the bodies, Sandra Calvo Pinzon, spokeswoman for Colombia's DGR risk management agency, told Efe.

Mining accidents claim dozens of lives every year in the Andean nation. EFE