The fire has now been brought “under control,” Currenta representative Maximilian Laufer told CNN. The search for five missing employees is ongoing, included Laufer. The factor for the explosion is so far unidentified.
A number of close-by freeways were closed, and police said motorists need to take detours to avoid the area.
More than 30 companies operate at the Chempark site in Leverkusen, consisting of Covestro, Bayer, Lanxess and Arlanxeo, according to its site.
Sirens and emergency situation signals on the German civil defense companys mobile phone app cautioned residents of “severe danger.”
CNNs Nina Avramova reported. Extra reporting from Reuters.
In the wake of the blast, which sent dramatic plumes of smoke into the air over the site, cops asked nearby homeowners to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed. Currenta stated they need to also turn off air conditioning systems while it measured the air around the site for possible harmful gas.
The blast took place at 9.40 a.m., causing a fire at a fuel depot at Chempark, a commercial park for chemicals business including Bayer and Lanxess, Chempark operator Currenta stated.
The search is still on for four people, Chempark supervisor Lars Friedrich informed press reporters soon after the event Tuesday. At least two of the 16 hurt employees were seriously injured, he added.