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Blast in German industrial park kills one, four others missing

At least one person was killed and four others were missing after an explosion rocked an industrial park in the German city of Leverkusen

7/27/2021 8:50:00 PM

At least one person was killed and four others were missing after an explosion rocked an industrial park in the German city of Leverkusen

An explosion in a German industrial park on Tuesday killed at least one person and injured 31 others, setting off a fierce blaze that sent a pall of smoke over the western city of Leverkusen. Four people were still missing.

, that flared up after the blast at 9:40 a.m. (0740 GMT), park operator Currenta said."We are deeply shaken by the tragic death of one colleague," said Chempark chief Lars Friedrich, adding that a search was underway for the four missing people.

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Police said five of the 31 injured people were affected seriously enough to need intensive care."This is a tragic moment for the city of Leverkusen," said Uwe Richrath, mayor of the city, which lies north of Cologne.The area and surrounding roads were sealed off for much of the day.

Police told residents living nearby to stay indoors and shut doors and windows in case there were toxic fumes. Currenta said locals should also turn off air conditioning systems while it measured the air around the site for possible toxic gases.1/6Smoke billows following an explosion in Wiesdorf, Leverkusen, Germany July 27, 2021, in this photo obtained from social media. Anna Fross/via REUTERS

Read MoreChempark's Friedrich said it was not clear what had caused the explosion, which led to a fire starting in a tank containing solvents."Solvents were burned during the incident, and we do not know precisely what substances were released," Friedrich added. "We are examining this with authorities, taking samples."

Sirens and emergency alerts on the German civil protection agency's mobile phone app warned citizens of "extreme danger".Leverkusen is less than 50 km (30 miles) from a region hit last week by catastrophic floods that killed at least 180 people.

More than 30 companies operate at the Chempark site in Leverkusen, including Covestro, Bayer, Lanxess and Arlanxeo, according to its website.Bayer and Lanxess in 2019 sold Chempark operator Currenta to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assetsfor an enterprise value of 3.5 billion euros ($4.12 billion).

($1=0.8492 euros)Reporting by Maria Sheahan, Madeline Chambers, Caroline Copley; Editing by William Maclean, Edmund Blair and Gareth JonesOur Standards:More from ReutersSign up for our newsletterSubscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.

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Five people missing after explosion rocks German chemicals siteFive people were missing and several injured after an explosion rocked an industrial park in the western German city of Leverkusen on Tuesday, sending up plumes of smoke and prompting police to ask nearby residents to remain in their homes. What's happening in Germany 🤕 this is terrible news Poor Germany is suffering at the moment. 🙏

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