Two people are dead and eight have been injured following an explosion and fire at a chemical plant in northeastern Spain.

The cause of the blast last night at the IQOXE facility - which specialises in the production of ethylene oxide, glycol and propylene oxide - is not immediately known.

Spain's civil protection authority insisted that no toxic substances had been detected in the surrounding area.

Firefighters moved in to put out the blaze, which was said to have begun in an ethylene oxide tank, and to "cool down the adjacent tanks".

Emergency services said eight people had been injured, including two with severe burns, following the explosion in La Canonja, a town in Tarragona province.

Video footage showed high flames and columns of smoke around the complex.

One of those who died was a worker at the plant.

Another person was killed in a nearby house destroyed in the blast, officials said.

Local authorities urged residents in the immediate vicinity to remain indoors, while the civil protection unit said the air was free of toxic substances.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez offered "the necessary support" to the Catalan authorities.