An explosion has occurred at an industrial park in Leverkusen, in the western area of Germany. While the cause of the explosion is still unknown, the police have cordoned the area off, asking residents to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed citing "extreme danger", Reuters reported.
The explosion is reported to have occurred at a site where the plant incinerates is a chemical waste. The site, Chempark, is home to over 30 companies including Bayer, Lanxess, Covestro, Arlanxeo, among others, and is expected to have a large number of emergency staff onsite.
According to the Leverkusen City website, a tank of solvents had caught fire and extinguishing work could not be initiated till a power line was disconnected from the grid. The Fire extinguishing services at the chemical plant and the Leverkusen Fire Brigade were working on extinguishing the fire that has now been extinguished. The Fire Brigade at the city of Cologne, 11 miles away, is being drawn in for support.
Sixteen people have been injured in the fire while one of the five people that had been reported missing is now confirmed dead. The others are still missing.
A Twitter user shared a video, which is unverified.
Motorways near the area have been closed along with the playgrounds.
Chempark monitors the air quality in the area using motorable measuring stations. who has confirmed the air quality is in the "green range".
The situation is not expected to escalate and the location is stable, while on-site employees have the site as a precautionary measure.
Update (07:05 am ET): Number of injured persons added along with details of operations being conducted.
Update (08:20 am ET): Fire status and casualties added.
This is a developing story and will be updated