• Kyodo

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A furnace exploded Tuesday morning at an iron factory in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, leaving six people injured and prompting nearby residents and workers to evacuate the area for fear of further blasts, police and firefighters said.

Sixteen people were taken to a hospital, including one man suffering serious burns after the 8:30 a.m. blast at Hiyama Iron Works Co., but the police confirmed that only six of them sustained injuries. The factory was in operation at the time of the explosion.

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