Chinese state media say at least 16 people have been killed in a fire at a shoe factory in an eastern city.

State broadcaster CCTV says the blaze broke out Tuesday in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province. It says firefighters put it out about three hours later after rescuing more than 20 people.

It did not say how the fire started. Such factories often contain large amounts of adhesives and other flammable chemicals. Calls to government offices in Wenling rang unanswered.

China has frequent industrial accidents and 121 people were killed in a poultry plant fire in the country's northeast last June. That fire was triggered by a short circuit, but investigators found the plant's safety exits were blocked.