Many of the accidents are blamed on poor safety as mining companies scramble to feed the country's growing demand for coal.

Much of China has plunged into extreme cold in recent weeks and shortages of energy, particularly gas and coal, have threatened to disrupt heating in many areas.

At least 25 miners died in mining accident on Tuesday when underground cables caught fire at the Lisheng coal mine in Xiangtan city in the central province of Hunan.

In November, 108 miners were trapped and killed by a coal mine blast in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

According to China's Work Safety Administration, at least 671 people died in coal mine accidents in 2009.