July 28, 2010 / 5:14 AM / 9 years ago

Deadly explosion hits Chinese plastics factory

BEIJING (Reuters) - An explosion hit a plastics factory on Wednesday in the Chinese city of Nanjing, killing an unknown number of people and injuring at least 100 more, state media said.

Xinhua said its reporters saw burned corpses being carried from the site. The blast hit buildings and vehicles within a 100-meter radius, including a passing bus, on which many passengers were injured.

Local media said more than 300 people were hospitalized, including at least 50 who were seriously injured.

Pictures showed flames leaping from the site and towering over a nearby three-storey building, with a column of dark smoke rising into the sky.

Xinhua said an initial investigation showed the explosion, which happened in Qixia district in the north of the city, was caused by a gas leak.

Previously, an official from state-owned oil giant Sinopec said the facility was a local liquefied petroleum gas plant. A nearby Sinopec petrol station was unaffected, he said.

Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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