Firefighters try to extinguish burning vehicles in the aftermath of an explosion at a plant operated by the Hebei Shenghua Chemical Industry Co. Ltd that destroyed dozens of vehicles nearby on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 in Zhangjiakou city Image Credit: AP

Beijing: An explosion and fire near a chemical factory left at least 22 people dead and 22 others injured in northern China on Wednesday, authorities said.

The incident near Hebei Shenghua Chemical Co. in Zhangjiakou, a city some 200 kilometres northwest of Beijing, also burned 50 large and small trucks, the local propaganda department said on its Weibo social media account.

The injured were taken to hospital for treatment following the blast, which occurred at 00:41 am, according to the statement.

The charred and smoking remains of trucks and cars were scattered on a road as firefighters worked at the scene, according to photos posted on Twitter by state broadcaster CGTN.

“On-site search and rescue work and investigation of the cause of the accident are still under way,” the propaganda department said.