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China chemical plant blast leaves 12 dead, many injured
An explosion at a pharmaceutical factory in northern China has killed at least 12 people, local government officials said.
Part of the plant was flattened by the blast and witnesses said houses within a 2km diameter had windows smashed.
Police believe the blast, which left another 40 people injured, may have been caused by chemicals.
The blast took place at 0920 (0120GMT) at the Kaer Chemical Plant in Zhaoxian County, state media said.
Cheng Weiqing, deputy head of the Shijiazhuang City Public Security Bureau which oversees Zhaoxian County, says tremors were felt in at least three villages near the plant.
He told Xinhua that the damaged factory has been producing ammonium sulphate, guanidine nitrate and nitro guanidine.
Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2011 BBC
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