In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers prepare to enter a coal mine in Shizuishan in northwestern China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. (AP)
BEIJING, Oct 15: A gas explosion inside a coal mine in southwestern China has killed seven people and injured two more.
Rescue crews at the Rongsheng mine in Guizhou province were able to save 11 people, including the two injured. Authorities would not say what caused the explosion, and a phone number listed for the mine wasn't working.
China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, though it announced plans this year to shutter more than 1,000 outdated mines. The head of China's State Administration of Work Safety said this year that struggling coal mines might be likely to overlook maintenance.
The administration reported 931 coal mine accident deaths in 2014, though outside experts often question government figures.