Powerful explosion in Azerbaijan injures 20, kills many

An explosion ripped through a factory building in northwestern Azerbaijan on Friday, injuring at least 20 people and killing an unknown number of others, a local official said. Elkhan Mamedov, deputy head of city administration in Agstafa, 320 kilometers (200 miles) from Baku, said the blast was a powerful explosion that ripped through the building at a metal plant and damaged adjacent buildings.

It was not immediately clear what kind of factory it was or how many people were inside at the time of the blast, around 4 p.m. (1200GMT), according to news reports, the AP reports.

ITAR-Tass said the plant was a scrap-metal factory.

Azerbaijan is an oil-rich former Soviet Union on the Caspian Sea.

T.E.