A senior official with the Chinese work safety watchdog said Friday that 101,480 people died in workplace and transportation accidents in 2007, down 10.1 percent from the previous year, Xinhua News Agency reports.

"The production safety situation is improving nationwide, but relevant agencies still shoulder arduous tasks in the coming year," Li Yizhong, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, said at a national workplace safety meeting held Friday in Beijing.

The total number of accidents last year, 506,376, is 19.3 percent lower than 2006, according to Xinhua.

China has closed 11,155 small coal mines in the last five years and has invested more than 83 billion yuan ($11.42 billion U.S.) to upgrade coal mine safety technologies and equipments.