Blast kills 2, hurt 6 at BASF

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

BER­LIN (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.

AP

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