1 killed in Japan chemical plant explosion

April 22, 2012 at 1:02 AM

HIROSHIMA, Japan, April 21 (UPI) -- One person was killed and 16 others were injured Sunday when two explosions rocked a chemical plant in western Japan, company officials said.

The first explosion at Mitsui Chemicals' Iwakuni-Ohtake facility broke windows in more than 100 buildings at about 2 a.m., broadcaster NHK reported. A 22-year-old employee was killed and 16 others injured.

No injuries were reported from a second blast that took place just before 8 a.m., the report said.

Mitsui Chemicals said the explosions happened during a halt in operations that was initiated after problems at a different plant Saturday.

Firefighters were on the scene working to secure the area.

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