Thirty-two miners were killed in a coal mine gas leak in southwest China's Guizhou Province and three others are missing, state media reported on Friday.

The gas leak at Qunli Coal Mine in Nayong County occurred on Thursday afternoon when 86 miners were working in the shaft, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted rescuers as saying.

The rescuers saved 52 miners, the report said.

There was slim chance for the missing to survive, rescuers were earlier quoted as saying.

The cause of the gas leak was not immediately known.

Landlocked Guizhou province, one of China's poorest regions, has since late August reported five coal mine gas leaks and blasts, Xinhua quoted the local work safety agency as saying.

Accidents at Chinese coal mines killed 3,069 people in the first 10 months of this year, a drop of 19 percent over the same period in 2006, state media has said, but still ranking China as the world's deadliest coal industry.

The Guizhou mine, with an annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes of coal, won a production license in 2005.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Ken Wills)