Berlin.- At least one death, 4 missing people and 16 injured, was the balance of an explosion in a business park of chemical industries in the German city of Leverkusen , which occurred in the early hours of this Tuesday.
Currenta, the company that manages the industrial park, reported that the explosion occurred at 9:40 in the morning in the storage tanks of its waste management center and then triggered a fire.
Sirens were activated to warn residents and warning alerts were issued, Currenta said in the statement.
The explosion at the Chempark business complex in Leverkusen, located about 20 kilometers (13 miles) north of Cologne, along the River Rhine, occurred in solvent storage tanks , according to the local Leverkusen government.
After the explosion , a body was found, and four people were still missing, while four people suffered serious injuries and 12 less serious, authorities reported.
The German Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, called for a population to stay indoors, turn off ventilation systems and close doors and windows, since the explosion was described as “an extreme threat” and according to reports by the german news agency dpa.
However, the Cologne fire department later tweeted that the air pollution measurements “do not show any kind of anomaly.”
Firefighters said the smoke had lost height, but would continue to check the air for toxins.
explosion at the Chempark business complex in Leverkusen. Photo: EFE
It was noted that they also closed several major highways in the area.
The Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported that the explosion had occurred in the Buerrig neighborhood, at a garbage incineration plant in the industrial park.
Smoke was drifting northwest toward the towns of Burscheid and Leichlingen, the newspaper said. Firefighters from the region were called in to help put out the fire , he added.
Leverkusen is the base of Bayer, one of the largest chemical companies in Germany . It has about 163,000 inhabitants and borders Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city with one million inhabitants.
Many of the city’s residents work at Bayer , which is one of the largest employers in the region.
The chemical plant compound where the explosion occurred is very close to the bank of the river Rhine.
Currenta has three facilities in the region. More than 70 companies operate in its parks in Leverkusen , Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen.