At least 24 people were left dead after a gas explosion in a northern Chinese coal mine this week, according to the Voice of America.

Rescuers were still trying to locate missing miners. But China's Xinhua news agency quoted a rescuer as saying chances of survival were slim because of poisonous gases in the mine.

Thousands of miners die every year in China's coal mines, considered to be among the most deadly in the world.

Thirteen other people were feared dead in a separate blast at an explosives factory Sunday evening in northern China.