A large fire broke out at a chemical factory in central Iran on Sunday, leading authorities to warn of potential health risks for people nearby.

More than 100 firefighters arrived on the scene to extinguish the blaze that erupted at an industrial area in the city of Qom, local officials said.

The local fire department spoke of six people injured, including a firefighter in critical condition.

The firefighters reported early success in preventing the blaze from spreading to neighbouring residential areas and the blaze was said to be under control.

The inferno could potentially spew dangerous pollutants into the air, authorities warned, adding that the Revolutionary Guards have been called in for help.

Further details as to what sort of chemicals were being produced at the factory and what may have sparked the blaze were not immediately available.

Qom is city of 1.2 million people and sits about 120 kilometres south of Tehran. Many clerics live in the city, which is a major Islamic spiritual and scholarship site.

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