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Official Says Six Dead In Uzbek Chemical Plant Blast

An official in Uzbekistan says that an explosion at a chemical plant in the city of Ferghana killed six people.

Uzbek authorities reported the blast on February 23 and said that there were fatalities, but did not say how many.

No official toll has been released.

Speaking to RFE/RL on February 24, an official in the Ferghana regional administration said that five people died on the scene of the explosion and one died later in the hospital.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said one person remained in grave condition.

Authorities said the explosion occurred at an ammonia production facility owned by the Fargonaazot company.

The plant, which produces fertilizers and other chemicals, was built in 1958.

Uzbekistan's Emergency Ministry said earlier that the government had set up a commission to investigate the incident and provide necessary assistance to the families of those injured.

The Central Asian nation is tightly controlled and there is virtually no independent media.

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