The blast which occurred on Friday morning at the Jianxin Coal Mine in Jiangxi province left 55 people trapped underground, the China News Service said on Saturday. 

The bodies of 48 miners had been recovered as of late Friday, while seven other miners were wounded, two of them seriously, according to the agency.

A person in charge of the disaster relief center at the mine refused to comment this morning, telling AFP the centre was "too busy" to answer questions.

Dangerous occupation

The coal mine, with an annual capacity of 600,000 tonnes, is state-owned, the agency reported.

Chinese miners rank alongside police officers as having the most dangerous occupation in China, according to a recent survey.   

Coal mine accidents are frequent in China, a major coal producer and consumer, claiming 4150 lives during the first eight months of this year, the equivalent of 17 deaths a day, latest figures show.