KAGOSHIMA, Japan, Feb. 17 (Kyodo) — An explosion Friday morning at a Kyocera Corp. plant in Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, injured one employee and set fire to a building containing hazardous chemicals, police and firefighters said.

The injured employee, Toru Sakamoto, 58, a resident of Kirishima, suffered burns to his face and chest and was taken to a hospital in the prefectural capital of Kagoshima by helicopter.

The explosion occurred at around 8:30 a.m. Friday when Sakamoto and two co-workers were blending chemicals to produce substances needed to make microchip parts called ceramic packages.

The fire engulfed the building where hazardous chemicals are handled, and burned for about one and a half hours, the firefighters said.

None of residents living near the plant were asked to evacuate after the blast and subsequent fire, they said.

Police investigators are looking into the cause of the blast, police sources said.

Kyoto-based Kyocera Corp. produces a range of electronics products such as industrial ceramics, telecommunications equipment and semiconductor-related parts.


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