Residents on China's southern Hainan island say they have clashed with police while protesting the building of a coal-fired power plant.

Residents in Yinggehai town said Monday that hundreds have protested since construction restarted on the plant and dozens of people have been injured and detained by police.

The days-long protest over pollution fears is the latest of many such confrontations in a country where three decades of rapid economic expansion have come at an environmental price. The protests are especially sensitive ahead of a once-a-decade change in top leaders next month.

The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy says 50 people have been arrested and almost 100 injured.

Police refused to comment and local authorities referred questions to other offices where phone calls rang unanswered.