BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A fire at a chemical factory in Argentina set off an explosion that injured more than 60 people, officials said Friday.

The Thursday night blast left a huge crater and broke windows in homes more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the Raponi Industrial Quimica SRL plant in Cordoba, some 430 miles (700 kilometers) northeast of Buenos Aires.

"The explosion was very strong," Hugo Garrido, head of Cordoba's civil defense told local Radio Continental. "A cloud of gases from the chemical materials was also formed and made breathing hard for nearby residents."

No deaths were reported, and officials expressed relief that only a few people were badly injured.

"God intervened here," said Cordoba provincial Gov. Jose Manuel de la Sota. "When you see the homes nearby, this could have been dreadful."

The owner of the factory, Sergio Hilton Raponi, was arrested after local prosecutors found non-authorized flammable material at the factory's warehouse.