TSU, Japan (Kyodo) --An explosion at a Honda Motor plant in Mie Prefecture, central Japan, seriously injured two men on Sunday, police said.
The blast occurred at around 9:15 a.m. near an electrical power distribution board at the Japanese automaker's Suzuka factory in Suzuka city, the police said. The two men, who were nearby, sustained serious burns and were taken to a hospital, they said.
The two were identified as Tetsuya Nohara, 21, and Ryuji Kumagai, 27, who suffered burns to the upper body and to the face, respectively.
The police said the factory, about 2 kilometers away from the Suzuka Circuit motorsport racetrack, was undergoing inspections after halting its blast furnace. The pair were operating the distribution board to see whether there was a flow of current.
The police said the burns were likely caused by sparks due to a short circuit in the board. While the board was partially charred, there were no visible traces of burns on its door or on the floor.
They said a colleague heard the explosion and found the two collapsed on the floor before a security guard called for an ambulance.
Honda said the Suzuka factory was scheduled to resume operations on Monday following the inspection.
Established in 1960 as Honda's third domestic factory, it has manufactured models including the Fit subcompact car, according to the company's website. It also provides technical support and supplies components to Honda factories in 28 foreign countries.