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6 killed, 30 injured in explosion

At least six people were killed and 30 more injured in an explosion and a subsequent gas pipeline leak on Thursday at a government-run steel plant in central India, police said.

The accident happened in Bhilai steel plant in Chhattisgarh state, 35 kilometres (20 miles) west of Raipur, the state capital, said Pradeep Gupta, a police inspector-general.

Gupta said 11 of the workers' injuries were considered serious and they were transported to a hospital in Raipur where they were placed in intensive care.

Aaj Tak television news channel said that methane and carbon monoxide had leaked from a pipeline following the explosion.

The leak from a blast furnace occurred due to damage in a water pump, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted a statement by the plant management as saying.

Police said the gas leakage at the steel plant has been controlled.

Raman Singh, the state's top elected official, expressed grief over the casualties and said the best possible medical care would be provided to those injured in the accident.

The Bhilai Steel Plant is India's first and main producer of steel rails, as well as a major producer of wide steel plates and other steel products. The plant also produces and markets various chemical by-products from its coke ovens and coal chemical plant.

It was set up with the help of the then Soviet Union in 1955.

The Canadian Press

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