BEIJING -- A fire at an underwear factory killed 14 people Tuesday in the southern Chinese city of Shantou, state media reported.

The fire broke out at around 3:30 pm (0730 GMT), Guangdong province emergency officials told Xinhua, adding it was contained half an hour later.

One worker was injured and taken to hospital for treatment.

Senior officials have ordered an inquiry into the incident, the cause of which was not immediately known, the agency said.

A fire at a garment factory on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka last week killed 110 workers in the export industry's worst-ever accident.

In September, a similar blaze in the Pakistani port city of Karachi killed 289 workers.

China is the world's biggest textile exporter, with the industry's total export volume worth $192.68 billion in the first three-quarters of the year, according to data from the China Textile Industry Association quoted by Xinhua.

But safety standards are regularly flouted, and workplace accidents remain common despite repeated pledges by the government to improve regulations and oversight.

Nearly 50,000 people died in work-related accidents in the first nine months of 2011, according to the State Administration of Work Safety.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012