News

Germany rocked by huge, fatal explosion

At least two people have died and several remain missing after a huge explosion at a chemical factory in Germany.

Footage showed flames rising hundreds of feet into the air from BASF's headquarters in Ludwigshafen.

The fire was still burning five hours after the blast, when authorities confirmed the first death.

Uwe Liebelt, BASF's plant manager, said: "We deeply regret that employees have died and several have been injured. We extend our sympathy to those affected and their families."

Six workers suffered serious injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment, a spokesperson added, while two others remained missing. There were fears the death toll would rise as recovery work continued.

BASF said work on a pipeline was believed to be the cause of the blast at around 11.30am local time (10.30am BST).

"Work on a pipeline led to an explosion with secondary fires," a statement said. "Several people were injured. Several people are still missing."

The cause of the blast was under investigation as emergency services fought the flames, with German authorities informed of the apparent industrial accident.

Residents in the western cities of Ludwigshafen and neighbouring Mannheim were asked to remain inside and keep their doors and windows closed as black smoke spread from the blaze.

Children were also kept inside at nurseries and schools, with local residents reporting breathing difficulties according to the Rheinpfalz newspaper.

The chemical complex is the headquarters of BASF, the world's largest chemical producer, which employs 33,000 people at its factory in Ludwigshafen alone.

The company produces a wide range of industrial products, including solvents, glues, petrochemicals, plastics and fertiliser.

It has set up emergency phonelines for anyone concerned about the explosion, who were being asked to call 0800 5050 500.

Topics:  explosion germany


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ready to master the Lismore games for 2017

Training hard for the mini olympics are Nathan Dee and Mitch Low in the 2017 Lismore Masters Cup.

Numbers are up for the games

Sun shines on rainbow flag over council chambers

Celebrating the rainbow flag raised over Lismore City Council chambers.

It was an action 50 years in the making

Disability advocacy explained in documentary

DEFIANT LIVES: Key disability rights activists Samantha Connor, Jackie Brown, Glenda Lee Ballina's Kelly Cox (right).

"Australians aren't really aware of out history”

Local Partners