Eight people were killed and three are missing after an explosion inside a coal mine in central China. The blast occurred at about 1.30 am on Tuesday at the Zoubao mine in Hunan province. Eighteen people escaped, according to a statement from China’s national safety regulator, the State Administration of Work Safety. The administration did not immediately identify the cause of the blast. Chinese state mine accident that killed 10 workers was caused by ‘illegal’ output, safety agency says Gas explosions inside mines are often caused when a flame or electrical spark ignites gas leaking from the coal seam. Ventilation systems are supposed to prevent gas from becoming trapped. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal. Its mining industry has long been one of the world’s deadliest, with hundreds of deaths annually.