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At least 5 die in Japan factory blast

Kyodo via Reuters

An aerial view shows the site where an explosion occured at Mitsubishi Materials Corp's Yokkaichi plant on Thursday.

TOKYO - At least five people were killed in a blast at a chemical factory in central Japan on Thursday, local police said.

"There was some explosion triggered by some sort of chemical reaction during plant operations," a police spokesman said.  

Police said that 11 people were being treated in a local hospital for injuries they received in the blast at the Mitsubishi Materials factory that produces polysilicon, a key component of semiconductors.   

The incident in Yokkaiichi in Mei Prefecture occurred within a confined ten-meter (32-feet) space, according to public broadcaster NHK.

F. Brinley Bruton reported from London.