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Death toll rises to 9 in factory blast in north China

(Xinhua)

13:46, February 28, 2012

SHIJIAZHUANG, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Nine people were confirmed dead when an explosion went off at a chemical plant in north China's Hebei Province Tuesday morning, police said.

The accident happened at around 9 a.m. at Kaer Chemical Plant in Zhaoxian County, said Cheng Weiqing, vice chief of Shijiazhuang public security bureau.

The blast flattened one of the factory's workshops and broke window panes within a radius of 2,000 meters, Cheng quoted witnesses as saying.

More than forty injured people were hospitalized to receive treatment, according to Cheng. And tremors were felt in at least three villages near the plant, Cheng said.

Mayor of Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, led a team of rescuers to the site.

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