TOKYO (AP) — An explosion at a chemical plant in western Japan has killed a firefighter and injured dozens of people.

Japan Explosion

Black smoke rises from burning flames at a Nippon Shokubai Co. chemical plant in the coastal industrial area of Himeji, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) west of Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. An explosion at the plant killed a firefighter and injured dozens of people Saturday. Pic: AP

Police said the explosion was reported Saturday at chemical plant Nippon Shokubai Co. in the coastal industrial area of Himeji, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) west of Tokyo. Plant workers first reported a large bursting noise and temblor after a chemical tank exploded.

Television footage showed the plant covered with orange flames and black smoke rising to the sky.

The cause of the blast was under investigation.

Five hours after the explosion, firefighters were still fighting the blaze.

Public television NHK said 30 people were injured. Police said at least 17 people were injured, including seven other firefighters, two police officers and seven plant workers.