Local authorities say 17 coal miners have died following a pit fire in northeast China's Liaoning province.

The government of the city of Huludao said Friday that 13 trapped miners were killed immediately and four more died in hospital. Another six miners survived the inferno that appeared to have been sparked by faulty electrical wiring.

China's mines have long been the world's deadliest, but safety improvements and a decline in the demand for coal have reduced the number of deaths in recent years.

Last year, 931 people were killed in mine accidents throughout China, drastically down from the death toll in 2002, when nearly 7,000 miners died.