A massive gas explosion at a coal mine in southwest China has killed 19 people, and left another 28 trapped underground.

State media reports say that 154 miners were working underground at the time of the blast in the Xiajiawan mine in Panzhihua, Sichuan province.

More than 100 people have been rescued and taken to hospital, but rescuers are now frantically searching for any survivors, whilst the owner of the mine is now being questioned by police.

Frequently criticised for its poor safety standards, China's coal mines are considered the most deadly on earth. Over 50,000 miners have been killed in the last decade alone.

The country has tried in recent years to improve safety standards, though these directives often ignored at local level.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner