An explosion at a plastics factory in the suburbs of the southeastern Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte injured several people, authorities said Friday.

The explosion in Contagem, followed by a raging fire, left "many victims," the municipal fire department said on Twitter.

The blaze unleashed a huge column of smoke, as television channels showed in live broadcasts.

At the scene of the incident were 11 fire trucks and 40 firefighters trying to contain the flames.

The plastics factory is located at an industrial complex in the Cinco de Contagem neighborhood, just outside Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais state. EFE