One person was killed in a massive explosion Tuesday at a chemical site in Leverkusen, Germany. Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that the whole sky was filled with black smoke. Soon the flames that erupted in one factory also engulfed another nearby chemical factory. So far, four people working here are said to be missing. Police and firefighters have arrived and are looking for the missing people in the rubble.
All employees present at the time of the accident
Industrial Park Operations Currenta reported that the fire had started at the Chempark site. Two chemical factories named Bayer (BAYGn.DE) and LANXESS (LXSG.DE) were affected by this fire. According to local time, the fire started at 9.40 a.m. At that time, a large number of workers were present in the factory. The blaze was extinguished by firefighters and company vehicles, but the search for missing persons continues.
The search for missing persons continues
Chempark chief Lars Friedrich tweeted: “We are deeply saddened by the death of a colleague. He said four other people are missing, for whom the search is ongoing. Emergency services have rescued 12 injured, four of whom are believed to be in critical condition. Local Welt television, citing the town’s security authorities, reported that one person had died. It was not clear if he was among the missing.
Tips for local residents to keep the air conditioning turned off
The area around the site has been cordoned off by police and the general public has been closed off. Police told people living nearby to stay inside and to lock doors and windows. The operator of the Currenta industrial park has advised people to turn off air conditioning systems in homes until the level of toxic air in surrounding areas is measured.
Cause of explosion unknown
Current said the cause of the explosion and subsequent fire was unclear. Sirens and emergency alerts on the mobile phone app of the German Civil Protection Agency warned citizens of “extreme danger”. Leverkusen is less than 50 km from an area that was hit by devastating flooding last week. At least 180 people were killed in this flood.