Asia-Pacific

Blast hits plastics factory in China's Nanjing

At least 12 people have been killed and dozens injured in an explosion at a factory in Nanjing, Chinese media say.

The blast hit at an abandoned plastics plant in Qixia district early in the morning, Xinhua news agency said.

Buildings and vehicles within 100m of the factory suffered severe damage. The injured included passengers on a bus that was passing at the time.

The blast was caused by a leak from a gas pipeline inside the factory, media reports said.

Five of the dead were reported to have been killed immediately.

At least 15 other people were seriously injured and more than 100 people were taken to hospital, the news agency said.

A doctor at Nanjing's Zhongda hospital told the AFP news agency that hospitals across the city were treating the injured, most of whom had burns.

"There was a loud bang and I saw that the fire was so big," witness Lao Yan, 47, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"When the explosion happened, everything fell and the door fell on my head and my clothes were all torn."

Ye Kai, who was injured by the force of the blast told reporters: "If I had come out later by just one or two minutes from the lane, it might be that I will not be here alive."

"When I just drove across the road and got out of the car, the explosion happened. The car was damaged, the front windscreen was shattered."

The State Administration of Work Safety said the blast happened after workers dismantling the plant damaged a propylene pipeline. The leaked gas was then ignited when a car engine was started at the scene, Xinhua reported.

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