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U n Death, three missing, thirty-one wounded including three serious: the explosion occurred on Tuesday in Leverkusen, in the west of the , on a waste treatment site, has shaken this fief of the chemical industry where the population has caulked for fear of harmful vapors.
A huge plume of black smoke, visible from afar, has cleared all day from the sinister area, a waste storage center and an incinerator, near an industrial park specializing in chemistry.
"We are deeply upset by this tragic accident and the death of a collaborator," the management of Currenta, the site manager, in a statement.
Rescue operations continue to try to find the three missing. The 31 wounded, including three seriously affected, are employees of the plant.
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Deflagration that occurred at 09:40 Local (07:40 GMT), is "of unknown origin", depending on the company.
"I heard the terrible noise of the explosion and saw a closed window and doors", testified onElke Bitzer, who lives near the factory. The noise of the explosion has also been heard at 40 kilometers in the round, according to the media.
"It made a sacred Bog, it looked like an atomic mushroom," moved on the social network "Halfchicken666" which was jogging not far.
The clearance of smoke resulted in a call from the authorities "to go to closed rooms, turn off the air conditioning and, as a precaution, keep the windows and closed doors".
This warning was no longer valid at the end of the afternoon, later indicated the city.
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Some 360 firefighters and police forces were mobilized for this incident that had initially been classified as "extreme danger" by the National Catastrophe Alert Application Nina.
The storage site and the incineration plant are on the edge of the Chempeck Industrial Park, bringing together companies in the chemistry sector, one of the largest of the genus inpollution scrutiny , on the outskirts of Leverkusen (Rhineland-du -Nord-Westphalia) and the district of Bürrig.
Bayer chemistry giant seat, Leverkusen has a little more than 160,000 inhabitants and is about twenty kilometers from Cologne. Evonik and Lanxess groups also have factories.
The possible unobstructed pollution is carefully scrutinized by the City of Leverkusen which, however, had detected, at the end of the afternoon "no increase in polluting charges". It indicated that the dusty spin-offs consisted of "particles of the size of a pen of one or even a euro which have an oily consistency".
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"It is therefore recommended not to carry soot in your home, that is to say to remove your shoes and leave them in front of the front door," she added.
For the population of Cologne, the air quality measures show that there is "no danger", indicated on Twitter the firefighters of this metropolis of more than a million inhabitants.
At a press conference in Leverkusen, the director of Chempark, Lars Friedrich, explained that expertise were underway to identify the composition of the smoke cloud.
The destiny of this critical city of the Rhine has been linked for decades to the chemical sector, the third German industrial branch.
The mayor of the city, Uwe Richrath, spoke of "a dark day for the people of Leverkusen".
A telephone support line has been put in place to answer questions of worried people.
It was also requested from the inhabitants to report any observation of soot or residues that could fall from the sky so that they can be examined.
The fire that followed the explosion and burning solvent tanks could be turned off after several hours of firefighters.
Three tanks "were completely or partially destroyed," said Mr. Friedrich, which makes it impossible for the moment to say exactly where the explosion occurred.
27/07/2021 19:08:26 - Leverkusen (Germany) (AFP
) - © 2021 AFP
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