A fire in a gold mine in China’s eastern Shandong province killed 16 workers, the latest in a series of mining accidents this month that left 61 people dead and highlighted safety concerns for the government.
A final group of seven miners was lifted from the mine this afternoon, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported without specifying if all were alive.
There were 329 people in the mine yesterday when a cable caught fire at about 5 p.m. local time, Xinhua said earlier.
Luo Lin, chief of the State Administration of Work Safety, went to the site late yesterday to lead the rescue effort, according to a statement posted on the administration’s website, according to reports Bloomberg.
China has the world's deadliest mining industry with more than 2,600 people killed in mine accidents last year. Those figures represent a drop from previous years as the government has moved to close down smaller, illegal mines.
Last month, Premier Wen Jiabao ordered mine managers and bosses to accompany workers down into mine shafts in a bid to improve safety, The Associated Press reports.