The work safety bureau in Sichuan province says 108 miners were working underground when the accident happened Saturday afternoon. Of the 81 rescued, six were seriously injured and nine suffered minor injuries.
Less than 24 hours earlier, another coal mine blast in southwestern China killed 12 people. Friday's gas explosion happened in neighboring Guizhou province.
China's mines are the deadliest in the world. Authorities have improved safety in recent years, but regulations are often ignored.