BEIJING: A methane gas explosion today ripped through a coal mine in central China's Hunan province, killing at least five workers, officials said.
The explosion took place in at the coal pit of the Hunan Baodian Qunli Mining Co.Ltd. in Shaodong County, the county's publicity department said.
Officials of the provincial work safety authority and the county government have arrived at the site to coordinate the rescue efforts, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Five workers were killed in the explosion.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, the report said The explosion is the first major coal mine accident this year and might lead to more tighter scrutiny on coal mine safety practices.
Though the number of deaths have reduced at coal mines in recent years, mining accidents are common in China, which is the world's largest coal producer.