Explosion near Shanghai results in injuries, property damage: Reports

A factory explosion early Sunday near Shanghai, China, has resulted in at least 30 injuries, according to reports.

Many of those injured were taken to a nearby hospital, according to Huanqiu.com, a website operated by the Global Times newspaper.

Information regarding the severity of the injuries, and possible deaths, was not immediately available.

The explosion occurred in Ningbo, one of China's busiest ports, striking a district along the Yong River about 8:55 a.m., state radio and other outlets reported.

Onlookers said damage to a gas pipe during demolition work might have been the cause of the blast. However, the Ningbo gas company told China Youth Daily there were no gas lines in the vicinity.

China has a history of deadly fires and industrial accidents that have often been the result of negligence. In 2015, improperly stored chemicals were to blame for an explosion that killed at least 173 people in Tianjin, a port east of Beijing.

Authorities have increased safety measures, but companies are struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of industrial growth and often end up cutting corners.

The blast knocked down nearby buildings, but they were vacant and in the process of being demolished, according to Huanqiu.com. But some people may have been in the area collecting scrap for recycling, the site added.

Windows of cars were blown out and streets were littered with debris from the force of the explosion, local news reports said.

Rescue work and a police investigation were underway, police said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Photos on the website News.163.com showed an injured woman being carried away on a man's back and what appeared to be the body of man lying amid the debris of a wrecked building. A photo on news.ifeng.com showed a room in an industrial building with a floor-to-ceiling hole blown through an exterior wall.

Video on the website Tencent News showed a white cloud of smoke rising above the explosion site.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Benjamin Brown is a reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.