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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 April, 2005, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Dozens killed in Zambia explosion
Ruins of factory
The factory was a major supplier to Zambia's copper mines
At least 50 workers have been killed and several others injured in a blast at an explosives factory in Zambia.

The explosion occurred on Wednesday morning in a workshop at the Chinese-owned plant which supplies explosives to local copper mines.

Rescue teams were still clearing the site in Kitwe, 400km (250 miles) north of the capital Lusaka.

An investigation into the incident has been opened but plant managers said they believe it was an accident.

'Human flesh'

"The entire plant has been razed," Zambian Mining Minister Kaunda Lembalemba told Reuters news agency.

"Most people were burned badly while others were just in pieces."

"The scene was unpleasant and I shed tears when I saw the pieces of human flesh."

The BGRIMM Explosives factory, located on the premises of the Chambishi mine, is a major supplier of explosives to Zambia's copper mines.

"We are still clearing the site," Wang Aide, managing director of BGRIMM Explosives, Zambia, told China's Xinhua news agency.

"We are still investigating the cause."

The factory, which is a subsidiary of the Chinese-owned NFC Africa Mining Company, has been operating since October 2003 and has the capacity to produce 6,000 metric tons of explosives a year.



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