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Five killed in China chemical factory blast

world Updated: May 12, 2007 09:48 IST

Five people were killed and 2,000 were evacuated in a chemical factory explosion in northern China, state media reported on Saturday.

The blast at Canzhou Dahua TDI, a producer of chemicals used in the manufacturing of polyurethane, occurred on Friday afternoon in China's Hebei province.

"The blast in the nitration workshop section led to a fire," a Cangzhou city spokeswoman said.

More than 100 people were injured, fourteen seriously, many of them suffering burns, the report said.

The accident prompted authorities to move more than 2,000 residents in a nearby village in case of a toxic leak. The report did not explain what had caused the explosion, but said an investigation was underway.

Polyurethane is a material used in everything from foams and condoms to fibres and plastic parts.