Six workers injured and a further two missing in Ludwigshafen, Germany

An explosion and the resulting fires have killed two people at BASF’s site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Six more have been injured, and a further two are missing.

The explosion occurred during work on a pipeline near the site’s north harbour, setting fire to ethylene and propylene pipelines. The fires were eventually extinguished after 10 hours. BASF has shut down its steam crackers while further cooling and safety work is carried out, and around 20 other plants on the site are either shut down or running at reduced capacity, as feedstock supplies are disrupted.

The company has confirmed that no chemicals were released into the Rhine, nor were there increased levels of toxic substances in the air or on the ground. ‘We are deeply saddened that employees have died and several have been injured. Our deepest sympathy lies with the affected people and their families,’ said site manager Uwe Liebelt.