An explosion at an industrial park in Leverkusen, Germany killed two people and injured 31 others on July 27. The incident happened at Chempark, an industrial park for several chemical companies including Bayer and Lanxess. Five people remain missing with the park’s operator saying the hope of finding them alive is dwindling.
The cause of the explosion has not been made clear. The owner of Chempark Leverkusen, Currenta, said in a statement that the blast occurred at around 09:40 local time. The incident is reported to have happened at Chempark’s Bürrig disposal centre where chemical waste is incinerated. The explosion caused a fire to break out at a tank farm in the disposal centre.
In further statements, Currenta said rescue workers had discovered the bodies of two missing employees. Chempark Manager Lars Friedrich, said: “My thoughts are with the injured and loved ones. The search for the missing is still going on at full speed. Unfortunately, the hope of finding them alive is dwindling.”
The statement said that 31 employees had been injured in total, including two seriously. One of the seriously injured was described as being in a critical condition. All the injured are continuing to receive medical treatment, while five more employees remain missing. Currenta said that rescue workers attended the scene, and that air monitoring was ongoing. Currenta also asked local residents to go to closed rooms, close windows and doors, and to turn off-air conditioning units as a precaution.
Local police, who are yet to determine the extent of the blast’s damage, closed several roads and motorways in the surrounding area as a cloud of dark smoke rose into the air above the chemical park. A significant number of emergency service personnel attended the scene after Germany’s Civil Protection Agency warned Leverkusen residents of “extreme danger.”