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Explosion hits Sinopec rubber plant in eastern China

A rubber plant in eastern China belonging to Asia's top oil refiner, Sinopec, exploded and caught fire on Tuesday, its operator said, with no casualties reported.

The blast occurred shortly after 1700 local time (0900 GMT) at a unit of Sinopec's Nanjing Yangzi Petrochemical Rubber Co subsidiary in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, Yangzi said on its official Weibo account, adding that a "relatively small" blaze was extinguished at 1946 local time.

"The black smoke and rubber smell produced at the beginning of the accident had a short-term impact on the surrounding residents (but) has now been eliminated," Yangzi said, without providing detail on any operational impact.

Yangzi Petrochemical Rubber Co produces more than 50 products including synthetic rubber and purified terephthalic acid (PTA), according to its website.