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Blast Interrupts Azerbaijani Petrochemical Operations

(RFE/RL) 24 November 2005 -- An explosion and subsequent fire at a chemical plant in Sumgait, Azerbaijan, has halted operations in some of the region's petrochemical enterprises.

The blast occurred late on 23 November and was reportedly caused by a gas compressor exploding.

No one has been reported killed or injured in the incident. Emergency officials at the scene have said the fire has been "localized."

The ethylene-polyethylene plant, which is part of the state-run AzerChemistry company, is located 35 kilometers north of the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

(compiled from local and international news reports)

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