At least six miners have died in an explosion in a mine in Handlova in Slovakia.

Another 14 miners are still missing after the explosion, which may have been caused by a gas leak.

The company involved, which is the largest in the country, said there had been a fire in an old shaft earlier in the morning.

A spokeswoman said: 'We lost telephone contact at around 9.30am and sensors monitoring the level of mine gases stopped working.

'On the basis of information from witnesses, there probably was an explosion of secondary flammable gases that had amassed after the fire.'

Nine other miners suffered light injuries and were being treated in hospital.