LUDWIGSHAFEN , Germany, Oct. 17 (UPI) — An explosion at the BASF chemical complex in Ludwigshafen, Germany, Monday morning killed one person and injured six others, officials said.
Six people were unaccounted for after a fire in a supply line led to a series of explosions at the plant’s Landhafen Nord port. Local fire chief Peter Friedrich said chemical products were burning and escaping into the air; he added a safety perimeter has been established around the facility, and air quality is being monitored, although the chemicals were not identified. The neighboring city of Mannheim was shrouded in smoke from the incident, although officials said it posed no danger. Nearby residents were advised to stay indoors and to close windows, and students remained in school buildings amid reports of respiratory complaints, NBC News said.
The online newspaper Die Rhinepfalz quoted eyewitnesses who said they three blasts, and flames shot more than 300 feet in the air, Bloomberg News reported.
BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, and maintains several plants in the town. The Ladhafen Nord site is a terminal for combustible fluids including naptha, methanol and compressed liquid gases.