Several large blasts at a chemical factory in Himieji were reported on Saturday evening.

Thirty four employees were injured in the accident after a tank containing acrylic acid set ablaze.

A firefighter, who was one of the first to respond to the incident, sadly died.

The plant produced almost half a million tonnes of acrylic acid a per year and supplied several nappy manufacturers.

It is understood that the company who owns the factory, Nippon Shokubai, will attempt to plug the gap in supply by working with other producers.

However, it looks likely that the hit to production could affect the global price of acrylic acid forcing the production of nappies to slow, which could result in shortages in some places.

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