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story.lead_photo.caption In this image made from video provided by Laura_presicce, a fire is seen in Tarragona, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. A massive explosion took place at an industrial zone for chemicals in northeastern Spain on Tuesday, and the regional emergency services agency warned people nearby not to go outside. A tweet by emergency services for the Catalonia region called the blast in the port city of Tarragona a “chemical accident” and said no information on possible deaths or injuries was available. (Laura_presicce via AP)

MADRID (AP) — A massive explosion at a petrochemical plant Tuesday in northeastern Spain killed one person and injured at least nine others, three seriously, regional authorities said.

A press spokesman for the port city of Tarragona, where the plant is located, said a preliminary investigation indicated the force of the blast killed an individual in a nearby neighborhood.

The spokesman said he had no further details. He spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with City Hall regulations.

The regional fire service tweeted the man had died in a building affected by the blast. They said one other person was injured in the building.

The interior minister of Spain’s Catalonia region said eight workers at the factory were injured, three seriously, and one person remained missing.

Emergency services said two of the injured were being treated for major burns.

The civil protection agency in the Catalonia region called the blast a “chemical accident” and initially warned people in parts of the city of just more than 130,000 and in nearby towns to refrain from going outside as preventive measures.

The confinement measures were lifted, and two roads that had been cordoned off were reopened some three hours after the evening blast.

Interior department chief Miquel Buch tweeted the fire was not toxic, but he advised residents to remain inside.

The blast took place on the premises of Iqoxe, according to a woman who answered the phone at the company and who quickly hung up the phone without giving her name.

According to the company’s website, Iqoxe is Spain’s sole producer of ethylene oxide, a chemical compound used for making detergents, solvents and other products, as well as glycol, one of the main raw materials in the production of plastics.

Local residents posted videos showing the aftermath of the blast, with flames and a big column of black smoke emerging from an area dotted with big industrial tanks.

Fire departments sent 29 brigades to the area, the regional emergency service said. It said firefighters were inspecting the complex’s building structures as well, trying to fully extinguish the fire in one ethylene oxide tank.

Some local residents told Tarragona Radio the blast could be heard from miles away.

Tarragona is located 71 miles southwest of Barcelona, the regional capital of Spain’s Catalonia region.

Since 2015, the city has housed a 2,965-acre “chemical hub,” ChemMed, that was described as the largest of its kind in southern Europe.

The government said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had been in contact with the regional president of Catalonia, Quim Torra, to inquire about the blast and offer any help needed.

Tuesday’s explosion comes just over a month after a Dec. 11 blaze at a solvent and industrial residues recycling plant in the northeastern town of Montornes del Valles. After that blast, which caused no casualties, authorities had to cordon off an area of some 550 yards in radius around the plant.

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