Eight miners were killed in a coal mine explosion and collapse in eastern Iran, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported Wednesday.

IRNA said that the accident occurred on Tuesday in a mine located 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the town of Tabas, in Yazd province, and rescue teams managed to recover five bodies on that day and three on Wednesday.

The explosion was caused by an accumulation of flammable gas after part of one of the mine's tunnels caved in.

The mine is being exploited by a private company.

At the time of the incident, 40 people were working in the mine, said IRNA, which made no mention of the number of people who may have been injured or might be missing. EFE