updated 12/29/2004 1:16:19 AM ET 2004-12-29T06:16:19

A scrap metal plant in eastern Oklahoma exploded Tuesday evening, sending fiery debris into the air and blowing out windows of nearby homes.

Two people working at the Yaffe Iron and Metals plant at the time remained unaccounted for, and at least four people were injured by flying debris, officials said.

Debris from the plant was tossed up to 10 blocks away and a nearby shopping center was damaged, said Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

Witnesses said the explosion at about 8 p.m. sounded like a bomb and the blast could be felt in the next county, about 30 miles away.

“I was sitting on the couch and it blew me off the couch,” said John Hammons, who lives near the plant.

Nearly an hour after the blast, the fire continued and heavy black smoke poured from the plant.

Residents nearest the plant were evacuated. Others farther away were told to stay in their homes and avoid breathing the smoke, which was not believed to be toxic.

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