Ten people were injured in a gas explosion in Cuenca, a city in Ecuador's southern Andean region, fire department spokesmen told the official Andina news agency.

The blast, whose cause is under investigation, occurred on Wednesday.

The injured, who sustained first- and second-degree burns, were transported to a hospital.

Area residents were evacuated and later allowed to return home.

The explosion occurred at the GLP Austro Gas plant, which processes liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), Cuenca fire chief Oswaldo Ramirez said.

The blast happened in the plant's maintenance area, "where the (gas) cylinders arrive, the valves are removed and the securing and control process is completed," Ramirez said.

Prosecutors, police, the fire department and the company are all investigating the cause of the explosion, which was not intentional, Ramirez said. EFE