An explosion and fire on a gas pipeline killed 28 workers in eastern Saudi Arabia, the Saudi national oil company Aramco said Sunday.

The fire broke out while contract workers were linking a new pipe to the line late Saturday, Aramco said in a statement.

It said 28 workers, including five Aramco employees, had died in the fire, which was put out early Sunday some 18 miles from its Hawiyah gas plant.

The company did not specify how many people had been injured in the blaze, or give the victims' nationalities.

"The company is taking all necessary measures to guarantee the continuation of the normal gas output," it said.

Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco is the world's largest oil producer, located on the country's east coast.

The Hawiyah plant produces 310,000 barrels of ethane and liquefied natural gas daily.