BEIJING - Ten people have suffocated in a mine in northern China after illegally entering the facility, which was shut down a year ago, the nation's work safety watchdog said Thursday.
The accident occurred on Monday in Shanxi province's Datong city, according to a statement posted on the watchdog's website.
Two people survived the ordeal at the mine, which had been closed down in October 2008, the statement said, without providing further details.
The watchdog did not specify what type of mine it was, but Datong is located in prime coal mining country.
China's coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world, with safety standards often ignored in the quest for profits and the drive to meet surging demand for coal - the source of about 70 percent of China's energy.
Official figures show that more than 3,200 workers died in collieries last year, but independent labour groups say the actual figure could be much higher, as many accidents are covered up in order to avoid costly mine shutdowns.