One person has died and at least 16 are injured after a blast occurred at a disposal center in Leverkusen’s Chempark. Locals have been told to stay inside and close doors and windows as smoke billows above the city.
One of the five people reported missing after the incident had been recovered but was pronounced dead, Chempack said. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and the death of an employee. Our special condolences go out particularly to the relatives, but also to the colleagues who have worked with him,” manager Lars Friedrich said.
The huge explosion rocked the city of Leverkusen in the German province of North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday morning. The cause of the explosion remains unknown.
Police provided a number of updates throughout the morning on Twitter and urged people to stay away from the area and keep off the roads, noting that they need as many emergency service personnel on-site as possible.
Residents also received an “extreme danger” warning on the NINA app, which sends important civil protection warnings for various hazard situations.
#explosion#currenta#bayer#leverkusen Stay home, stay safe 🙏 pic.twitter.com/0Y5uaOge3K
The city’s police department said many roads around the facility have been blocked off. Motorways are also affected.
The authorities have urged people not to go outdoors and to remain in a room with the doors and windows firmly shut.
#Germany🇩🇪:An explosion at chemical plant in #Leverkusen, declared extreme threat.An explosion at a chemicals plant of Leverkusen led to an “extreme danger” warning being issued and residents of the city being urged to close windows and stay indoors. pic.twitter.com/dQM1144X3J
The fire was extinguished shortly after 2pm, allowing rescue workers to undertake their recovery operations at full speed. In an earlier statement, the city’s authorities said that the blaze occurred at a tank containing solvents. Fire crews had to wait for a power cable to be disconnected before they could get to work.
More than 30 companies operate at Chempark but Currenta insisted that the incident took place at the park’s landfill and waste incineration facility, which is detached from the main industrial area. The main part of the complex houses chemical firms such as Covestro, Bayer, Lanxess and Arlanxeo, according to its website.
In recent weeks, the state and neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate were hit by devastating floods that resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 people.
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