Explosion at Japanese chemical plants kills one, injures 11

A blast at a chemical plant in central Japan on Friday has left at least one person dead and 11 injured, reports said.

Authorities said a 64-year-old man was killed in the explosion at the Arakawa Chemical Industries plant in Fuji, located near the famous Mount Fuji, west of Tokyo.

The man had previously been reported missing, Takahiro Suzuki, a fire service official from Fuji City, told Agence France-Presse.

The 11 people injured – including at least three seriously – were employees of the plant operators and workers from another company, the Japan Times reported. More than 100 people were working at the plant at the time of the explosion.

Local officials issued an evacuation order for about 50 people in the area, but lifted the order after the firefighters extinguished the fire.

The cause of the explosion remained under investigation, but the plant’s operators ruled out the risk of potential contamination or pollution.

The plant manufacturers chemicals for the paper industry, AFP reported.

"There is no concern" of the chemicals polluting the environment, a company official said, according to AFP.