• Kyodo

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A male worker was killed and two others were seriously injured Monday in an explosion at a factory in Isehara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

A trolley carrying a cylinder of liquefied toxic gas struck a bump near the factory gates at 3:45 p.m., causing the cylinder to fall to the ground and explode, police said.

The three workers were taking the cylinder — which measured 1 meter in length and 40 cm in diameter — into the factory of Japan Pionics Co., a Tokyo-based machinery and chemical product maker.

The volatile gas explodes when it comes into contact with air. Police suspect a safety cap on the cylinder came loose when it fell, causing the gas to leak.

Osamu Ichikawa, 34, from Isehara, died of head injuries. Ichiro Mori, 44, from Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, lost his left leg and Yasuo Ikeda, 56, from Isehara, suffered a broken leg, the police said.

The explosion caused slight damage to a nearby building.

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