BEIJING (AP) _ Leaking gas and explosions in two Chinese coal mines killed at least 19 people, state media said Monday.

Seven miners were killed in an explosion Friday evening in a coal mine in the southwestern Chinese city of Mianzhu in Sichuan province. Another five people who went in to rescue them were also killed by gas fumes, the state-run Beijing Morning Post reported.

Another gas explosion Saturday in a coal mine in central China's Henan province killed seven people, injured four and left another seven missing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China's coal mines are notoriously dangerous. Lax regulation and thousands of small, unlicensed operators have contributed to frequent accidents.