At least eleven people were killed while two others were missing in a coal mine blast in southwest China's Sichuan Province, the local government said on Thursday.
Thirty-six miners were working in the pit when the blast occurred at 9:40 pm (local time) on Wednesday at the Xinglong Mine in Luxian County. A local official said 24 people were rescued from the shaft.
"Eight of them are injured and one died on the way to hospital," Xinhua news agency quoted the official as saying.
Rescuers retrieved 10 dead bodies in the pit and were searching for the two missing miners, he said.
Investigators said the Xinglong mine was a legal, fully registered county-run mine with annual output of 60,000 tonnes.
Dereliction of duty and abuse of authority are believed to be the main causes behind a series of coal mine blasts that have caused huge casualties in China, the world's largest coal producer and consumer, a government report said this week.
It attributed the main cause of these accidents to violation of safety rules in which coal mine owners ordered excessive operation regardless of production limits.
The report also found that some of the officials had invested in the coal mines they supervised or ensured certain mines were operated by their relatives or friends.
Figures from the State Administration of Work Safety, China's safety watchdog, show that coal mine accidents killed 4,746 people in China in 2006 with an average of 13 deaths per day.