Thursday's accident at the Xinsheng coal mine in the central province of Henan also left six people injured.

Coal is the primary fuel in the world's seventh-biggest economy and mines have expanded with little regulation to keep up with booming demand.

China has had a poor mine safety record and the worst accident in years killed 148 miners in Henan last month.

Official figures say 4153 miners have died in accidents during the first nine months of this year.