An explosion at an oil recycling factory in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, late Friday afternoon killed two people and injured 16, Japanese media reported.
“We heard a loud blast, then the house shook. At first we thought there had been an earthquake,” said an elderly female resident near the site.
“In no time at all the house was turned upside down,” said a cousin.
Everclean Corp., which manages the facility at which the blast occurred, apologized in a statement.
“We offer all our apologies,” it said.
The explosion was felt for kilometers around the site and was followed by a fire, according to witnesses and TV images.
The cause of the explosion was unknown.