Chemical plant blast in China kills 14 workers

November 19, 2011 - 9:10 PM

BEIJING (AP) — An explosion at a chemical plant in eastern China has killed 14 workers and injured five others.

Chinese state media and an official said the explosion happened Saturday at a plant in Xintai city in Shandong province.

Xinhua News Agency says workers were maintaining and repairing a condenser at a melamine production facility when the explosion occurred.

It says no poisonous or harmful substances were released. Melamine is a nitrogen-rich chemical used in making plastics and many other products.

An official surnamed Xu at the Xintai city government says the cause of the blast is under investigation.

He says the plant's owner, Shandong Liaherd Chemical Industry Co., used to be state-run but is now a shareholding company.