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China Cement Plant Explosion Kills Nine, Xinhua Says

An explosion at the quarry of a cement plant in southern China killed nine people and left one person missing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing local authorities.

The blast occurred at around 2:30 p.m. when workers were unloading explosives off three trucks in the city of Yingde in Guangdong province, the report said, citing a city government statement released late today. The trucks were carrying 13 tonnes of explosives and workers had already unloaded six tonnes when the accident happened, Xinhua said.

The quarry belongs to a subsidiary of Anhui Conch Cement Co., the largest cement manufacturer in China, Xinhua said, citing the government statement. Anhui Conch Executive Director Zhang Mingjing, reached by telephone late today, denied that the plant was its subsidiary.

“It is not related to us,” Zhang said.

Employees of the quarry and workers who transported the explosives from a local private explosives company were among those killed, Xinhua said, adding that the blast shattered windows in a nearby township across a river, injuring nine villagers.

The city has set up an emergency response team and sent experts to remove the unexploded explosives, while an investigation into the cause of the blast is under way, Xinhua said.

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