Yet another fatal mine mishap in China. Reuters

At least 19 people have been confirmed dead and many others remain trapped underground after a gas explosion rocked a coal mine in south-west China.

Rescue efforts are under way at the Xiaojiawan mine in Panzhihua city in Sichuan province. Up to 107 miners have been rescued so far and taken to hospital.

However, 28 miners are still believed to be trapped underground.

The majority of the 19 victims died from carbon monoxide poisoning underground, while some others died in hospital.

At least 150 miners were underground when the blast occurred at the facility owned by the Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co Ltd. The owners of the firm are being questioned over the incident.

Mine accidents are frequent in China, often raising questions about the safety mechanisms in place for the miners. Up to 1,973 miners were killed in mining-related accidents across the country in 2011 alone.

Official figures on fatal mine accidents often do not show actual numbers as many incidents go unreported.

Though the Chinese central government has introduced several measures to ensure miners' safety, these instructions often go unheeded at the local level.