World Bulletin / News Desk
State news agency Xinhua reported Monday that rescue teams pulled five miners -- four of them confirmed dead -- out of the mine in Shaodong County, in Hunan province, after the blast occurred Sunday afternoon.
An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the explosion.
Chinese mines are among some of the most dangerous in the world due to lax regulations and poor operating procedures.
In recent years, the country has produced more than one-third of the world's annual coal output, but accounted for more than two-thirds of global mining deaths annually, according to the Mining Technology journal.
An explosion at a coal mine in southwest Chongqing Municipality last month left 33 people dead.
In October, 18 miners were killed and two others remained missing in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region after a gas explosion at another colliery.