Europe

1 employee dies, several missing in explosion at German chemical plant

Residents in Leverkusen urged to stay indoors, close windows over fears of poisonous fumes

Ayhan Simsek   | 27.07.2021
1 employee dies, several missing in explosion at German chemical plant FILE PHOTO

BERLIN

At least one person died and 16 others were injured after a huge blast at a chemical facility in the western German city of Leverkusen on Tuesday. Four people are still missing.

The explosion in Chempark, one of the largest industrial parks for chemicals companies in the country, sent massive plumes of dark smoke into the air.

Authorities advised residents of several districts to stay indoors and keep windows shut over fears of poisonous fumes.

Chempark’s operator Currenta said on Twitter that one of its employees died in the explosion and four employees were missing.

“Our 16 employees were injured in the incident. Two of them have serious injuries. The rescue work continues at full speed,” the company said in a statement.

Firefighting teams managed to extinguish the fire several hours after the blast but residents in the Buerrig district were urged to remain indoors and keep windows shut as a precaution.

City officials also decided to close playgrounds in the district and advised people not to consume fruits and vegetables from their gardens due to ongoing tests on air quality.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.

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