Beijing, May 9 (PTI) A methane gas explosion today ripped through a coal mine in central China’s Hunan province, killing at least five workers, officials said. Also Read - Woman Beats Boss With Mop After He Sent Her Lewd Texts, Hailed As a Hero For Standing Up to Him | Watch

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. Also Read - Japan's Ketchup Producer Stops Xinjiang Tomato Imports Over Rights Abuse

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. Also Read - Dinosaur Dance Floor Unearthed: Newly-Found Dinosaur Footprints Seen at Excavation Site in China

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.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.