China coal mine
A mine worker drives a shovel truck across an open-cast coal mine located in the Ordos mining district, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on Mar. 14, 2014. Reuters/Fayen Wong

An explosion in a coal mine in southwestern China’s Guizhou province on Thursday has killed 11 people, Xinhua reported, citing local authorities. About 19 people were working inside the coal mine at the time of the explosion, and eight of them were reportedly rescued.

The cause of the blast, which occurred at the Songlin coal mine in Songhe Town, is being investigated by the authorities, according to Xinhua. Early on Wednesday, a fire at a coal mine in northeastern China killed 26 people and injured 52. The fire at the coal mine in Liaoning was triggered after a 1.6 magnitude earthquake struck the mine and ignited coal dust.

In 2013, there were 589 mining-related accidents in China, which have led to 1,049 people being killed or reported missing. Despite the high figure, the number of accidents in the year was 24 percent lower than in the previous year. In an effort to reduce mining accidents, Chinese authorities have tried to shut down smaller coal mines in the country, where most of the accidents have reportedly occurred.

Last month, 16 people died and 11 were injured in a coal mine collapse in the Xinjiang region. In August, a gas explosion in a coal mine in Huainan City in Anhui province, about 292 miles from Shanghai, left over 20 people missing. Before the incident, the mine had been twice ordered by authorities to shut down.