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.