Blast in Kenyan steel factory kills five -police

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NAIROBI, Sep 25 (Reuters) An explosion ripped through a Kenyan steel factory killing five workers and injuring several more, police said.

''There was a an explosion followed by a very big fire last night. We can confirm five dead,'' police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said today.

He said the intense heat of the fire, which was still burning this morning, had hampered search and rescue operations. More more bodies may be found, he added.

Kiraithe said the managing director of Devji Steel Factory -- located on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi -- told investigators he suspected a live mortar mistakenly picked up as scrap metal might have exploded in the factory's furnace.

''The director said they melt scrap metal, including the shells of exploded mortars which they get from areas where military exercises take place,'' Kiraithe said.

Several workers were admitted to the main Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi with serious burns, he added.

REUTERS ARB AS1304

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