Chinese state media Xinhua reported Wednesday that 58 miners escaped the accident at the Machang coal mine in Guizhou Province.
Local authorities say a rescue effort has been mounted.
The news follows the death of seven miners last month when an illegal mine was flooded in northern China.
According to recent economic figures from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s 2012 coal mine death toll was down 33.75% from 2011.
Government efforts to reduce hazardous mines have resulted in the closure of more than 9000 small coal mines since 2006.
In September, Chinese authorities pledged to shut down 20,000 illegal and unsafe mines by 2015 following a string of deadly gas explosions and collapses.
The National Bureau of Statistics also confirmed that coal consumption grew 2.5% last year alongside a 20.2% increase in coal imports.