Breaking: Deadly Chemical Explosion

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Deadly Chemical Explosion

One person is dead and four are missing after a deadly chemical explosion occurred in an industrial park in the western German city of Leverkusen on the morning of July 27.

The explosion sent dark plumes of smoke into the sky, and led to a fire at the Chempark site. More than 30 companies operate at the Chempark location in Leverkusen, including Covestro, Bayer, Lanxess and Arlanxeo.

According to the park operator, a company called Currenta, the fire was extinguished after the explosion occurred around 9:40 a.m. local time.

“We are deeply shaken by the tragic death of one colleague,” Chempark chief Lars Friedrich said, noting that four people were still missing.

Twelve injured people were rescued by emergency services. The city of Leverkusen has announced that five people were missing, but it is unclear whether the fifth person was in reference to the one death, or whether an additional person has since been reported missing.

The area around the chemical explosion has been sealed off and surrounded with emergency vehicles. Police have asked nearby residents to stay indoors, and to keep windows and doors shut. Currenta has also instructed them to turn off air conditioning systems while the company is in the process of measuring the air around the site for possible toxic gases that could have been emitted as a result of the explosion.

Sirens and emergency alerts were sent out via the German civil protection agency’s mobile phone app, which warned citizens of “extreme danger.”

Several nearby roads have been closed, with police asking drivers to take detours to avoid the area.

So far, it is unclear what caused the explosion and subsequent fire.

According to reporting from Global News, “Leverkusen is less than 50 km from the region that was hit last week by catastrophic floods which left at least 180 people dead.”