(CNN) -- Twenty-six people were killed in a mine accident in central China's Hunan Province, state-run China Daily reported.
The accident occurred Thursday when a brake failure caused two elevators carrying 31 miners in a tin-ore mine in Lengshuijiang City to plunge, rescuers told the newspaper.
Nineteen miners were killed immediately, and seven others died later of their injuries, rescuers said.
The mine is operated by the Shanxing Antimony Industry Co. Ltd.
Chen Zhaoxiong, the province's vice governor, was at the scene overseeing the aftermath of the accident.
An investigation into the cause of the accident was underway and the provincial government ordered that workplace safety be checked in mines throughout the province.
Last year 3,215 people died in China's coal mines, down about 15 percent from the 2007 toll, the State Administration of Work Safety reported. China closed 1,054 illegal coal mines in 2008, but government figures show almost 80 percent of the country's 16,000 mines are illegal.
Earlier this month, Luo Lin, head of the Administration of Work Safety, said China would take measures to close 1,000 small coal mines this year to improve work safety and mine management, Xinhua reported.
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