Safety officials said a gas explosion from a coal mine in south west China has killed 16 miners with three more missing.
The State Administration of Work Safety reports on its website that the blast occurred in Guizhou province’s Liupanshui city.
It said 15 workers managed to escape. An investigation into the cause of the explosion is under way.
Rescuers have retrieved the bodies and are continuing their search for the missing.
China’s coal mines are the world’s deadliest with thousands of miners killed every year. Demand for coal induces many producers to sidestep safety regulations. In recent years, fatalities have decreased through improved safety and the closure of small, illegal mines.