UPDATE: Two killed, one still missing in BASF explosion

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

Two employees of the BASF fire department died as a result of the explosion at the Ludwigshafen plant yesterday and one person is still missing. Photo Twitter user @MichiLeber
Two employees of the BASF fire department died as a result of the explosion at the Ludwigshafen plant yesterday and one person is still missing. Photo Twitter user @MichiLeber

Related tags: Germany, Basf, Plant

Two workers have been killed, one person is still missing and eight have been seriously injured in the explosion at a BASF plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany yesterday. 

The explosion happened at 11:30 am on Monday (17th​ October) during work on a liquefied gas pipeline, which transports raw materials including ethylene and propylene.

According to latest social media posts from the German chemical and ingredients giant today (18th​ October), two employees of the BASF fire department died as a result of the fire and one person is still missing.

Eight people were seriously injured and 17 others were injured less seriously.

Member of the BASF board and industrial relations director Margret Suckale paid tribute to the fire fighters who "were devoted to saving lives". 

Click back here for further updates. Story last updated 18/10/2016 15:00. 

In a Facebook post, manager of the Ludwigshafen plant Uwe Liebelt said: “We are deeply saddened that employees have died and several have been injured. Our deepest sympathy lies with the affected people and their families.” 

Authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion at the North Harbor site but have ruled out terrorism.

As a safety precaution 20 other plants at the Ludwigshafen site - the biggest chemicals plant in the world with 39,000 employees - are currently either shutdown or only partially running. 

Sarah Schmidt, global communication manager for the company's human nutrition segment, told us: "Due to safety reasons or lack of raw materials, BASF has decided to temporarily shut down some production plants in Ludwigshafen. For the time being, we keep the product supply stable by using the stocks where available.

"We kindly ask to excuse any delivery delays that might occur due to bottlenecks in our logistic infrastructure." 

The fires were still burning last night but had been brought under control. The company said they had been extinguished completely this morning.

Billowing smoke could be seen above flames and local residents were advised by police to stay indoors and close doors and windows yesterday.

The company, with sales of €70bn in 2015, said tests of air and soil around the site did not show any increased levels of toxic substances.

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars