updated 3/15/2010 9:11:52 PM ET 2010-03-16T01:11:52

An electrical fire at an illegal coal mine in central China has left 25 people dead, the latest fatal accident to rock the country's mining industry.

Three people — the mine's owner, manager and an investor — have been detained by police following the Monday night blaze at the mine in Henan province, near the famed Shaolin kung fu temple, said He Yu, an official in the press office of the Zhengzhou city Communist Party.

The mine is located in Xinmi city, which is overseen by Zhengzhou city.

Six of the 31 miners underground managed to escape the fire, He said.

It was not clear how the electrical fire started. An investigation was under way.

China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, despite a multiyear government effort to reduce fatalities. Most accidents are blamed on failure to follow safety rules or lack of required ventilation, fire-control and other equipment.

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