Coal mine accidents in China have claimed at least 104 lives in the past eight days, highlighting the poor safety record of the world's largest coal producer and consumer.
A report released by the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), the safety watchdog shows that China's coal mine safety is growing worse.
"There is a stronger demand for coal in the winter as it is the major material for heating in most parts of China. For this reason, coal mines try to produce more than they can manage," a SAWS official said.
Three of the four serious accidents occurred in north China's Shanxi province, the country's major coal production base, which is notorious for its frequent accidents.
A gas blast in a coal mine in Shanxi on November 12 killed 25 people and nine others are still missing.
Earlier this month on November 5 , accident in Shanxi left 35 dead and 12 missing.
The administration urged coal mines to strictly follow rules of operation and local governments to crack down on illegal shafts.
China is the world's largest coal producer and consumer. However, Chinese coal mines are considered the deadliest due to high rates of accidents. On an average, 12 miners die every day in Chinese coal mines.