At least six killed in China factory blast

A powerful blast rocked a plastics factory in eastern China today, killing at least six people and injuring hundreds, state media reported.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control four hours after the blast, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xinhua said local hospitals were evacuating rooms to make space for the injured, and that hospitals had almost run out of blood for transfusions.

The explosion, suspected to be caused by a gas leak, happened about 10am in downtown Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province in eastern China.

Xinhua said its reporters saw burned bodies being carried out of the plant, and that buildings and vehicles within 100 yards of the blast were badly damaged.

Xinhua originally said 100 people had been taken to hospital, but later cited local media as saying more than 300 people are in hospital and that 50 are in serious condition.

Firefighters were still trying to put out the blaze nearly four hours after the blast, Xinhua said. It said passengers on a passing bus were also injured.

Accidents are common in China’s safety-lax factories, with fires, explosions and other problems killing thousands of people each year.

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