Eleven killed in chemical plant blast in China

Explosions ripped through a chemical plant Tuesday in southwest China, killing at least 11 people, injuring dozens and forcing the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The first explosion occurred at around 6 a.m. in Yizhou city in Guangxi province, Xinhua said. Eight people were reported missing following the accident and another 57 people injured. The explosions continued until 1 p.m., spreading fire over a nearly 10,000-square-meter area, Xinhua said, citing an unidentified firefighter in the rescue operation. The government evacuated 11,500 residents in case of further blasts and chemical leaks, Xinhua said. "All I know is that it might be a serious blast. Many of the fire brigades of nearby towns have been mobilized to help," said Fan Yinfeng, an operator at the fire brigade under the Yizhou Public Security Bureau.