The explosion occurred at the Hongshan coal mine in the city of Kuitun of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Chinese press agency Xinhua said that after overnight rescue efforts, the victims’ bodies were retrieved at 3:35am Wednesday and an investigation was into the cause had begun.
The colliery is reportedly licensed and legal.
The news follows a government initiative announced earlier this month to overhaul the country’s notoriously dangerous coal mining industry.
Local media said the crackdown will result in the closure of 625 coal mines around the country.
China Daily cited a statement from the National Energy Administration that mandated the shutting of mines which have a total production capacity of 23.47 million tons by the end of the year.
The industry restructuring is meant to target obsolete production methods, improve facilities at viable mines, conduct mergers and acquisitions and close down illegal mining operations.