At least 40 informal miners in Zimbabwe have been trapped underground after a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed.

The incident occurred late on Wednesday in the town of Bindura, around 70 kilometres north of the capital, Harare, said Wellington Takavarasha, head of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation.

Takavarasha said that the miners were working inside the disused Ran Gold Mine when a shaft caved in. Six miners have since been pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital.

“Those who were rescued said there were about 40 people in the mine shaft at the time of the incident,” said Takavarasha on Thursday, adding that rescue efforts were ongoing.