Large blast reported at New Hampshire ball bearing factory

BOSTON (REUTERS) - An explosion was reported at a ball bearing manufacturer in southern New Hampshire on Monday, leaving a number of people injured, state and local officials said.

The fire department in nearby Jaffrey, New Hampshire, said on its Twitter feed that it had been called to respond to a"major explosion" at the New Hampshire Ball Bearings Inc location in Peterborough, located about 120km north-west of Boston.

At least eight people were injured in the incident, which occurred at approximately 3.30pm EST (4.30am Singapore time on Tuesday), WMUR television reported, citing local fire officials.

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan said the state had opened an emergency operations centre at the site.

Live television images showed emergency vehicles parked in front of the facility and the first-floor windows of the building had been blown out.

Peterborough Fire Department officials could not immediately be reached for comment and officials at the state police declined to comment.

New Hampshire Ball Bearings is a unit of Japan's Minebea Co Ltd.