A gas blast at a coal mine in China’s southwest has killed 21 people, with a further four missing.
According to The Australian, Chinese state media reported that after the coal and gas outburst at the Machang coal mine, 58 workers had managed to get to the surface safely.
The incident adds to China's poor mining safety record; last year alone 1,384 people were killed in coal mine accidents.
Although some improvements have been made to the country’s safety regulations in recent years, they are often ignored and serious accidents remain common place in China’s mining industry.
Earlier this year, a fire at a coal mine killed 11 miners, while in November last year, eighteen workers perished after a underground explosion.
China is the world’s biggest coal consumer, using 3.8 billion tons of coal in 2011.