At least six people were killed during a fire at a gold mine in China's Shandong province this week, prompting Chinese authorities Thursday to call for stricter regulations on deadly and chaotic mining activities across the nation.
The latest mining incident that has resulted in the deaths of more mining workers has sparked a public outcry.
Local government officials said that they will be coming up with a new campaign to shut down facilities that do not meet regulations. The fire at the Caojiawa gold mine in the city of Zhaoyuan is the second major incident involving a gold mine in the province over the past two months.
According to local media reports, the fire occurred during regulator maintenance at the gold mine. The fire trapped ten miners inside the facility.
Rescue workers were only able to recover four of the workers, who were all immediately sent to the hospital for medical treatment. The other six men that were trapped by the fire were reportedly killed.
The incident was preceded by an explosion at the Hushan mine on Jan. 11. The rescue operation to save the trapped miners caught the public's attention, with the rescue effort televised across the nation.
In the previous incident, ten miners were killed by the blast, while 11 others were rescued after being trapped underground for more than two weeks. Nine bodies were recovered from the debris, while one person is still considered missing.
The first incident prompted authorities to launch an investigation into the safety protocols of the mining operations throughout the province. The Shandong emergency bureau previously said that it will be conducting additional "comprehensive and throughout" inspections of all the facilities within the province that will last until the end of March.
Authorities said that non-coal mining operations that fail to pass inspections will immediately be closed.
Chinese mines are considered to be one of the world's deadliest. The increased demand for coal and other precious metals has prompted some companies to cut corners, endangering their workers' safety.
According to the National Mine Safety Administration, about 573 people had died due to mining accidents in China last year.