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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 14:06 GMT
Huge blast rocks French college
Firefighters at institute
Firefighters are investigating what may have caused the explosion
A huge explosion has ripped through a chemistry institute in Mulhouse, eastern France, killing one person and injuring another.

A fire raged after the blast at 1225 (1125 GMT) and thick smoke hung over the three-storey building. Firefighters evacuated people from the scene.

It is not yet clear what caused the explosion. It is believed to have happened in a ground-floor laboratory.

The School of Chemistry is part of a 25-hectare campus near the city centre.

The Mulhouse mayor, Jean-Marie Bockel, confirmed that the blast had killed one person and injured another.

The explosion is reported to have been heard two kilometres away and it broke the windows of nearby buildings.

More than 8,000 people study on campus at Mulhouse.

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