Mine fire kills 26 in China

26 Chinese miners are dead after a coal mine fire in the northeast of the country.

The fire at the mine in the northeastern province of Liaoningalso left 52 people injured, with 30 seriously hurt and four with in a critical condition.

The official Xinhua news agencysaid investigators believe coal dust in the mine shaft burst into flames shortly after a small earthquake hit the site.

Production at the state-owned Fuxin Coal Corporation has been halted in order to carry out safety checks, the news agency said.

In June 22 coal miners were killed in a gas incident, adding to China's reputation as one of the worst countries for coal mining safety.

Last year 589 mining accidents left approximately 1050 people dead or missing.

Death figures for 2012 and 2011 stand at 1300 and 1973 respectively.

In an attempt to curb these numbers the Chinese Government instituted a new 'coal safety plan' earlier this year.

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