November 24, 2018 / 4:10 AM / 22 days ago

China factory blast kills two, injures 24

Damaged houses are seen on the following day at the site of an explosion at a machinery plant, in Liaoyuan, Jilin province, China November 24, 2018. Zhang Yao/CNS via REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - Two people were killed and 24 others injured in an explosion at a machinery plant in the northern Chinese province of Jilin, the local government said on Saturday.

At least 41 houses were damaged in the blast and a subsequent fire which began shortly before midnight on Friday, it said.

The cause of the explosion was not released, but officials said they have ruled out terrorism.

Rescue efforts were ongoing on Saturday morning and people had been evacuated from the area. Scores of police, fire fighters and medical personnel had been sent to the scene.

China has pledged to improve safety in factories, though explosions and other incidents are common due to patchy enforcement of rules.

In August, five people were killed in an explosion at an aluminum plant in the eastern city of Jiangsu, while in July, 19 people died in a blast at a chemical plant in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Earlier this month two people were killed in a factory explosion in the city of Ningbo.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Stephen Coates

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