The accident occurred at about 3:51pm on 25 May 2014, and about 240 miners were underground at the time of accident, reported Xinhua News Agency.

According to local authorities, 231 miners have managed to escape. Of the remaining nine, rescuers found five bodies and search is on for the four missing miners.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

The latest incident comes after a cement pipeline collapsed at a coal mine in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province on 14 May killing 13 people. The coal mine, which is under construction, is owned by China National Coal Group.

About 37 miners were in the shaft during the incident; 26 of them were rescued shortly after the accident.

According to the Chinese Government figures, 1,049 workers died in various mine accidents in 2013. This figure was lower than 1,384 killed in 2012.

China plans to cease production at around 2,000 small coal mines to improve safety and efficiency in its mining industry. The country has 13,000 mines.