Factory blast temporarily shuts NW China airport

A fire and subsequent explosions at a plastics factory in the capital of China`s northwestern region prompted a major airport nearby to shut briefly.

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2010, 23:30 PM IST

Beijing: A fire and subsequent
explosions at a plastics factory in the capital of China`s
northwestern region prompted a major airport nearby to shut
briefly, an official said on Sunday.

The blaze broke out late yesterday at the factory
near the Diwopu International Airport of Urumqi, the capital
of Xinjiang region, said a man surnamed Li who was on duty at
the Xinjiang regional government`s information office. No
casualties were reported.

The cause of the fire was being investigated, Li
said.

Li said explosions at the factory after the fire
threw chunks of debris onto the airport`s grounds, forcing
authorities to shut the airport to clear the area. The airport
resumed operations at midnight, he said.

At least 15 flights were disrupted, the official
Xinhua News Agency said.

Li would not say if foul play was suspected.

Authorities have been on high alert in Xinjiang, a region long
beset by ethnic conflict and separatist violence, after
rioting in Urumqi last year left about 200 dead.

PTI