Reuters reports an explosion in the mine is the cause of the tragedy.
A blast at a coal mine in southern China has killed 28 people, state news agency Xinhua said Sunday, in the latest disaster to hit the accident-prone industry.
The gas explosion happened Saturday afternoon at the Xialiuchong colliery in Hunan province's Hengyang, the report said.
One miner remains trapped, it added, without providing further details.The Associated Press suggests that the death toll is 29.
A few days ago, China Daily reported that U.S. energy companies were closing in on deals with China that would, among other things, improve the safety of that nation's mines.
A delegation of US-based energy companies, including Peabody Energy Corp, Kress Corp, Jupiter Oxygen Corp and Caterpillar Global Mining Greater China and Korea, a division of Caterpillar Inc, led by US Commerce Department officials, came to China in late October to seek partnerships with Chinese businesses.
"US companies on this trade mission represent some of the latest and most innovative technologies in the coal mining sector," said Suresh Kumar, assistant commerce secretary for trade promotion and director-general of the US Foreign Commercial Service, at the International Coal Summit 2011 on Thursday in Beijing.
"The best selling is not only about the products" but also the needs of customers, said Kumar. "Safety equipment is what the Chinese mining industry needs, and the US has the best safety record in the sector."Prior to the latest accident, more than 1,400 miners had died in China this year. As startling as that figure is, it's down more than 25 percent from the comparable period in 2010.