Chemical Factory Explosion Kills One, Hurts 11 In Japan

At least one worker was killed and 11 others injured in an explosion and fire that broke out Friday at a chemical factory just a few kilometers from Mount Fuji in central Japan.

Residents living within 100 meters of the factory were ordered to evacuate as 17 fire engines and nearly 60 firefighters battled the blaze.

Plumes of thick black smoke billowed into the sky from the factory belonging to Arakawa Chemical Industries, which manufactures chemicals for the paper industry.

“A 64-year-old worker, who had earlier been missing, was found dead,” Takahiro Suzuki, a fire service official from Fuji City, said.

Eleven other workers were hurt, three seriously, he said, updating an earlier announcement that 14 people had been injured.

The casualties were all male and aged in their 20s to 60s.

Fuji city is located in the foothills of the world-famous Mount Fuji, around 100 kilometers west of the capital Tokyo.

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