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At least seven killed in explosions at power plant, factory in two cities in eastern China

Two separate explosions ripped through two cities in eastern China on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and injuring a dozen others.

The first explosion occurred at about 9.40am at a thermal power plant at a village near Zibo in Shandong province.

Five people are confirmed to have died in the blast, the village government said in a post on social media. Another nine were injured, but are not in a critical condition, it said.

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An ammonia tank at the power plant developed a leak prior to the blast, according to the China News Service.

About 55 tonnes of ammonia contaminated water leaked and flowed into drains at the power plant, it said.

No further pollution was caused to the surrounding environment as the incident was dealt with promptly, according to the article.

The second explosion occurred at an electromechanical factory at an industrial park in Tangshu township in Shucheng county in Anhui province.

Two people died in the blast, three were injured and 10 were still missing, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The three hurt were not said to have life-threatening injuries, the report quoted the local authorities as saying.

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Families gathered outside the factory on Wednesday, waiting anxiously for updates about their loved ones. Some passed out with grief, the report said.

Police, firefighters, medical teams and local officials were at the scene supporting the rescue operation.

Investigations into both explosions are continuing.