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BLAST KILLS 30; PLANT'S MANAGERS HELD

Police today detained an executive, the manager and a cook at a fruit processing factory in northern Thailand where a huge explosion killed at least 30 people.

The manager was suspected of illegally storing a large amount of a restricted chemical that police believe blew up. All three employees were under guard in the hospital.

Police said 28 bodies were found at the factory site, and two were recovered from a passing car. More than 100 were injured.

Police believe the explosion came as a result of a highly volatile chemical, potassium chlorate, being packed at the factory for distribution to farmers as fertilizer.

What might have sparked the chemical is still not known, but theories include the gas used to dry fruit, faulty wiring or another chemical.

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