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Two people fighting for lives and five others injured when a huge explosion ripped apart a factory

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two people fighting for lives and five others injured when a huge explosion ripped apart a factory

Two people are in critical condition after they were freed from a burning paint factory that exploded last night in Columbus, Ohio.

A total of seven people have been rushed to hospital after being rescued from the blaze which started shortly after midnight at Majestic Paints on Leonard Avenue.

Firefighters arrived to meet five wounded employees escaping the building. 

But another two factory workers were trapped inside and firemen had to break them free before ambulances sped them to hospital in ‘critical condition.’

One person is still missing, according to reports, and search and rescue efforts were continuing into the early hours of the morning.

The blast was felt by residents for miles around, some of whom said that they had been woken by their houses shaking.  

The fire department in Columbus battles the blaze at Majestic Paints on Leonard Avenue

The fire department in Columbus battles the blaze at Majestic Paints on Leonard Avenue

The fire department in Columbus battles the blaze at Majestic Paints on Leonard Avenue

A fire truck is seen outside the factory during the inferno

A fire truck is seen outside the factory during the inferno

A column of smoke rises to the sky

A column of smoke rises to the sky

A fire truck is seen outside the factory during the inferno, left, and a column of smoke rises to the sky

A thick column of black smoke rises into the night sky as the inferno at the paint factory rages

A thick column of black smoke rises into the night sky as the inferno at the paint factory rages

A thick column of black smoke rises into the night sky as the inferno at the paint factory rages

Firefighters are battling a blaze at a paint factory in Columbus, Ohio , following an explosion

Firefighters are battling a blaze at a paint factory in Columbus, Ohio , following an explosion

Firefighters are battling a blaze at a paint factory in Columbus, Ohio , following an explosion

It is not yet clear what caused the blast, but firefighters said the factory contains hazardous materials.

Columbus Fire Department said: ‘We are currently fighting a second alarm fire at Majestic Paints, 1920 Leonard Ave.

‘First responding companies were met by employees exiting the building, five of them injured and taken to local hospitals.

‘Two other employees were trapped inside the building and had to be extricated and transported in critical condition. Search and rescue efforts are continuing, as are extinguishment efforts at this time.’  

Columbus Division of Fire Chief Steve Martin said factory contains dangerous materials and there are hazmat crews at the scene of the fire, while surrounding businesses are being evacuated. 

Residents reported feeling a powerful explosion which shook their homes. 

Stewart Smith tweeted: ‘Not sure what that was, but about 10 mins ago, there was what felt like large explosion on the east side of Columbus. (West of Airport/I-670 area).

‘Powerful enough to shake my whole house Large smoke column seen west of me, multiple sirens can be heard. Not good.’ 

Jets of water are sprayed across the paint factory as firefighters congregate on the street outside

Jets of water are sprayed across the paint factory as firefighters congregate on the street outside

Jets of water are sprayed across the paint factory as firefighters congregate on the street outside

Stewart Smith tweeted: 'Not sure what that was, but about 10 mins ago, there was what felt like large explosion on the east side of Columbus. (West of Airport/I-670 area). Powerful enough to shake my whole house Large smoke column seen west of me, multiple sirens can be heard. Not good'

Stewart Smith tweeted: 'Not sure what that was, but about 10 mins ago, there was what felt like large explosion on the east side of Columbus. (West of Airport/I-670 area). Powerful enough to shake my whole house Large smoke column seen west of me, multiple sirens can be heard. Not good'

Stewart Smith tweeted: ‘Not sure what that was, but about 10 mins ago, there was what felt like large explosion on the east side of Columbus. (West of Airport/I-670 area). Powerful enough to shake my whole house Large smoke column seen west of me, multiple sirens can be heard. Not good’

The fire broke out shortly after midnight at Yenkin-Majestic Paints (file image)

The fire broke out shortly after midnight at Yenkin-Majestic Paints (file image)

The fire broke out shortly after midnight at Yenkin-Majestic Paints (file image)

Brett Lawrence added: ‘It was all over the city, I think. I’m in central Columbus, by fairgrounds.

‘We heard a “muffled” explosion-like sound and whole house shook, windows rattled.

‘All the neighbors came out of their houses, our dog ran upstairs to see what was happening, etc.’ 

Another Columbus resident tweeted: ‘Anyone on the east side of Columbus hear that explosion?! Shook our whole house. I’m in Reynoldsburg near Mount Carmel East. It was incredible!’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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