IMAGE: Blast at French chemistry school
Frederick Florin  /  AFP - Getty Images
Recue service team members scour the scene Friday at the National Advanced School of Chemistry in the eastern French city of Mulhouse after an explosion there.
updated 3/24/2006 11:39:54 AM ET 2006-03-24T16:39:54

A large explosion rocked a chemistry school in eastern France on Friday, killing a professor and injuring another person, authorities said. About 10 people were unaccounted for.

Preliminary indications were that the explosion was not caused by a bomb or act of terrorism.

The blast occurred on the ground floor of the Superior National School of Chemistry in Mulhouse, near France's border with Germany, and was followed by a fire, officials said.

The surrounding area was evacuated, and firefighters put out the subsequent blaze.

Teachers were counting students to determine whether there were any other casualties, France-Info radio reported from the scene.

"We thought it was an earthquake," a resident identified as Jean-Pierre Langer told TF1 television. "It really shook."

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