China’s official Xinhua news agency reported a fatal mine fire in Liaoning province early on Wednesday. It said 24 workers at the coal mine had been killed, while another 52 had been injured.
The mine is run by the state-owned Fuxin Coal Corporation. Xinhua said a minor earthquake caused sparks that ignited coal dust in the air, causing a blaze that ripped through the shaft.
Mining accidents are relatively common in China, but recent improved safety measures have lowered the number of fatalities by almost a quarter.
In 2013, about 1,000 people died in some 600 mining accidents, down 23 percent from the year before. That’s a drop from over 6,000 a decade ago.
It has been almost a decade since one of China’s worst mining disasters, when at least 214 miners died following an earthquake and gas explosion in Liaoning in February 2005.