Leverkusen (Germany), July 27, 2021 – Maximum level of alert for chemical danger, one dead, 4 missing and 16 wounded in forte explosion in the Chempark chemical park next to the Bayer plant in Leverkusen, in the west of Germany, at 9.40 am today 27 July. It took hours to put out the flames and secure the area. The accident occurred in the part where the waste is incinerated. The Currenta company that manages the plant where the explosion took place reports that one employee is dead, 4 are missing and 16 injured but this is a provisional and constantly evolving toll.
“Unfortunately we have to announce that we have a dead man”: confirmed the head of the building department of Leverkusen, Andrea Deppe, in a direct telephone call to Welt-Tv. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and the death of an employee,” the company added in a statement, adding that “the rescue continues at full speed” to find the other four missing workers. “
The explosion occurred around 9.40 and gave rise to a fire and a giant black cloud visible tens of kilometers away. The fire would now be under control but for a few hours it threatened to spread to the nearby tank containing 100,000 liters of flammable liquid, and cause a second explosion. According to information from the Bild newspaper, the transfer station of the company’s tank fleet would have gone up in flames and there was a threat that it would spread to the building behind it with flammable solvents. Under the transfer station or the tank park there is a tank park with 100,000 liters of flammable ferrous liquid. A spokesman for the company in charge of the plant, Currenta, told Bild that “the contents of the tank were solvent.” Fire and emergency teams specialized in the event of a chemical alarm are on site.
The Leverkusen chemical park houses several plants, in addition to the damaged one. It is in fact one of the largest chemical parks in Europe. The park is home to Bayer plus other chemical companies such as Lanxesse. There are three such sites in Germany. Chempark is in the industrial area of the city, about twenty kilometers north of Cologne.
The German Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance classified the blast as “an extreme threat” and asked residents to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed. The motorway and some nearby roads have been closed to traffic.
“It is not yet clear which substances were dispersed in the air with the explosion,” said Lars Friedrich, head of Currenta, of Chempark, “but measurements are underway, he said at a press conference. the population, during the same press conference, “to wash fruit and vegetables well before putting them on the table”, while playgrounds and public gardens were closed “as a precautionary measure.” 3 tanks were affected by the fire and all three were filled with “organic solvents,” Friedrich said, but the origin of the explosion is still unclear.
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