A gas explosion in a Chinese coal mine killed 19 miners and left seven missing, a government news agency said Thursday.

The explosion struck the Yujialing Coal Mine in Linfen, a city in Shanxi province, on Wednesday, the Xinhua News Agency said.

It was the second major mine disaster in 10 days in Shanxi, a major coal-producing region, following an explosion that killed 21 miners on March 18, Xinhua said.

The Yujialing mine's production license had expired before the explosion, Xinhua said.

China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, with fatalities reported almost daily in fires, floods and other disasters despite repeated government promises to improve safety.