BASF confirms second death in Germany explosion

17 October 2016 20:38 Source:ICIS News

Screenshot-Youtube-Ulli Z

LONDON (ICIS)--The explosion and fire at BASF’s flagship petrochemicals hub in Ludwigshafen, Germany, earlier on Monday has claimed a second life and two workers are still missing, the company said.

In an update at 19:15 hours local time in Germany, the company said that six workers suffered serious injuries and a number of others suffered less serious injuries.

The fire kept burning on Monday night and firefighters want it to “burn out in a controlled way”, BASF said in its update.

The explosion occurred during work on a pipeline route and triggered “secondary fires”, the company said.

Raw material supplies remain disrupted, while the site’s two steam crackers and other plants were ramped down, it added.

BASF was shutting down its steam crackers and other plants at Ludwigshafen following the fire, a spokesperson for the chemicals major said earlier on Monday.

A separate company source said that naphtha imports had been halted and derivatives at the facility had also been impacted by the blast.

"Today, October 17, at 11:30 there was an explosion at BASF in Ludwigshafen at the North Harbor during work on a pipeline, which resulted in fires," the company said in a statement.

Unverified footage posted online shows a large plume of smoke originating at a loading bay at the facility's northern site.

BASF’s Ludwigshafen site has two steam crackers with a total capacity of 620,000 tonnes/year.

Additional reporting by Nel Weddle, Heidi Finch and Graeme Paterson

PICTURED ABOVE: Fire is seen on Monday at the northern harbour at BASF's site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. (Source: Unverified footage from YouTube user Ulli Z)

By Stefan Baumgarten