Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Blast kills 2, hurt 6 at BASF

Published:Tuesday | October 18, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Workers from the fire brigade are fighting to extinguish a fire at the BASF plant site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, yesterday. The company said that several people were injured in a late-morning explosion. (Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa via AP)


An explosion at a facility belonging to chemical firm BASF in southwestern Germany killed two people and injured at least six others yesterday, authorities said.

Another two were still missing hours after the blast.

The explosion occurred in the late morning at a river harbour in Ludwigshafen that is used to unload flammable liquids and liquefied gas.

Plant manager Uwe Liebelt said it was preceded by a fire in a pipeline between the area where the liquids are unloaded and storage tanks. The explosion happened after the company's fire service arrived at the scene.

"How the explosion happened is not clear at the moment," Liebelt told reporters. He added that it wasn't yet known what substances were involved and didn't elaborate on the identities of the victims.

Earlier in the day, the company had reported that one person had died in the explosion.

BASF confirmed yesterday evening that the death toll had risen to two, spokeswoman Silvie-Kristin Wemper said.

A large column of black smoke rose over the site. Residents in parts of Ludwigshafen, where BASF is based and has a sprawling plant, and Mannheim, on the other side of the Rhine river, were advised to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.