An accident at a coal mine in Guizhou Province, China, has killed 14 miners, reported the Xinhua news agency.

The collapse of the shaft roof at the Shunxun coal mine occurred on 25 February 2022, trapping 14 people underground, according to rescue headquarters.

Further investigation was underway to determine the cause of the accident.

The mine is located in Zhenfeng County, Bouyei-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Qianxinan.

Following a ten-day rescue operation, the local authority confirmed that the trapped miners were dead. The bodies of the dead miners have been retrieved, according to the state-owned news agency.

According to the data from the National Energy Administration, the mine has a capacity of 150,000tpa, reported Reuters.

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In recent years, small coal mines with an annual capacity of less than 300,000t in China have been considered for closure by the government due to environmental and safety concerns.

In a separate development, Reuters reported that China is planning to boost production at modern coal mines while enhancing coal reserve capacity.

During the annual parliament gathering, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) was cited by the news agency as saying that it will guarantee coal transportation while further improving pricing mechanisms for coal.

The move follows the approval of several new coal mining projects and output expansions at existing mines by the central government, since the second half of last year.

The approval follows restricted fuel supplies that resulted in a nationwide power shortage last year while slowing industrial activity.

Last year, coal output in China reached a record high of 4.07 billion tonnes, according to the news agency.