An explosion at a chemical company industrial park in Germany killed at least one person, wounded 16, and left four people missing on Tuesday. After authorities originally encouraged people to seek refuge indoors, fire officials who tested the air stated there did not appear to be a threat to surrounding households.
The explosion at the Chempark site's waste treatment plant in Leverkusen, near Cologne, produced a massive black cloud in the air. It took nearly four hours for firefighters to extinguish the fire that erupted as a result of the explosion.
The event was first categorized as a "severe threat" by Germany's Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance. However, the Cologne fire service afterward stated that measures of air pollution "do not reveal any type of anomaly." They stated that the smoke has decreased, but that they would continue to test the air for contaminants.
The explosion happened in solvent storage tanks, according to a statement from the city of Leverkusen. According to the report, four persons were hospitalized with serious injuries. The chemical park's operator, Currenta, said the explosion occurred at 9:40 a.m. local time and quickly turned into a fire.
A significant number of cops, firefighters, helicopters, and ambulances from around the region, according to police in neighboring Cologne, had been dispatched to the location. They advised all inhabitants to stay indoors and cautioned visitors from outside of Leverkusen to stay away from the area.
They also blocked down numerous key roadways nearby. The smoke cloud was heading northwest toward the towns of Burscheid and Leichlingen, according to the daily Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger.
Bayer, one of Germany's largest chemical firms, is headquartered in Leverkusen. It is home to around 163,000 people and borders Cologne, Germany's fourth-largest city, which has a population of approximately one million people. Many people work at Bayer, one of the region's largest businesses.
The chemical park is extremely near to the Rhine River's banks. In the region, Currenta operates three facilities. Over 70 distinct firms are based in Leverkusen, Dormagen, and Krefeld-Uerdingen.