Blast and huge fire at Spanish chemical plant


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Media captionWatch fire raging at a chemicals factory in Spain’s Catalonia region

An explosion at a petrochemical plant in Spain’s autonomous Catalonia region has killed at least one person and injured another eight, officials say.

One person is missing after the blast, south of Tarragona city, set off a huge fire. Officials say it was probably sparked by a chemical accident.

Catalonia’s civil defence agency urged residents of Tarragona and nearby towns to close windows and stay indoors.

Dozens of firefighters are tackling the blaze in La Canonja municipality.

The explosion at the Industrias Químicas del Óxido de Etileno plant happened at 18:40 local time (17:40 GMT).

The dead person was found in a building that collapsed after the blast triggered a shockwave.

Two of the eight injured people had serious burns, Catalonia’s civil protection service said.

Rescuers are still searching for a missing person, a plant employee.

The civil protection service said no toxic substances had been detected in the area.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez later offered support for the Catalan authorities in dealing with the accident.

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