Two people dead

UPDATED: Blast at BASF's Ludwigshafen facility

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/BellPhotography423
© istock/BellPhotography423

Related tags: Chemical industry, BASF

Two people have died and several others have been injured in a fire following a blast at a BASF production facility in Germany.

The company said two employees of the BASF fire department died as a result of the fire in the northern part of its Ludwigshafen site. Eight people were seriously injured, 17 others received light injuries.

One person is still missing, said the German chemical giant.  

The injured were treated directly at the site or in local hospitals.

We are deeply saddened that employees have died and several have been injured. Our deepest sympathy lies with the affected people and their families,”​  said a spokesperson for BASF.

The explosion at the site was linked to work on a pipeline, which resulted in fires. "The pipelines that burned included ones with ethylene and propylene product. Ethylene and propylene are important basic materials in the chemical industry. Ethylene is used for the production of insulating materials and solvents, among others. Propylene is used for the production of automotive paints, dispersions and adhesives, among others,"​ said the spokesperson.

There was dense smoke in the surrounding areas yesterday, prompting BASF and the city of Ludwigshafen to urge residents to stay indoors and to keep windows and doors shut.

The company said continuous measurements outside the plant showed no increased levels of toxic substances in the air or ground.

BASF said it has decided to temporarily shut down some production plants in Ludwigshafen for safety reasons but also due to a lack of raw materials. "For the time being, we will keep the product supply stable by using the stocks where available,"​ the spokesperson told us, adding delivery delays might occur though due to bottlenecks in the company's logistic infrastructure.  

The site is located around 80 kilometers south of Frankfurt, production of vitamins and feed additives takes place at the complex. In total, there are 39,000 people employed at the site, according to BASF.

Related topics: Suppliers, Europe, Safety

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