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Mass casualties in NZ factory explosion

world Updated: Apr 05, 2008 14:01 IST

Six firefighters were seriously injured and several reported missing after a series of explosions set off a massive blaze at a factory near Hamilton, in New Zealand's North Island, Saturday, news reports said.

Hamilton Hospital said it had received mass casualties and appealed for assistance from outside the city, channel TV3 reported.

It showed film of a huge blaze said to be out of control at the Icepak Coolstores factory, which is next door to a school, and spreading to other parts of the suburb of Tamahere, about 10 km south of the city.

Two firemen were reported to be critically injured and another four were in hospital with serious injuries.