Three Ukrainian coal miners were found alive days after a tunnel collapse trapped them underground.

A roof collapse on Monday, 58 metres below ground in the Novodzerzhinsky mine in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region left nine miners isolated and without contact to the surface.

Rescue crews working around 24 hours uncovered the two dead miners shortly after 5 am on Thursday, said Viktor Tumanov, a mining union leader.

The three survivors were found sheltering in a still-standing section of the tunnel some two hours later, he said.

"They (the survivors) had been underground for more almost three days," Tumanov said.

"They have been hospitalised but their condition is satisfactory and we expect them to recover."

Crews were continuing to remove rubble from the collapsed section of the tunnel and a search for three more miners thought to have been caught in the
collapse was continuing.

"We are not giving up hope, they could still be alive," Tumanov said.

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