Several injured and many missing in EXPLOSION at BASF SE chemical plant in Germany

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The blast is believed to have taken place the BASF chemical company’s facility at a river harbour in Ludwigshafen late Monday morning during works on a pipeline corridor.

Four company workers are reportedly dead. 

Video footage showed huge, bright flames coming out the plant while plumes of thick, dark black smoke billowed hundreds of feet into the air from the company”s headquarters.

According to locals the sound could be heard all the way to the city centre and caused windows to shake. 

Company spokeswoman Ursula von Stetten confirmed the base is used to unload flammable liquids and liquid gas.

She could not clarify how many people were injured. 

According to the city of Ludwigshafen several people are currently missing.

Residents were asked to keep doors and windows shut, and the fire brigade has warned resident to switch off ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

Car drivers have also been told to avoid the area due to poor visibility caused by an enormous smoke cloud.

The chemical company switched off central production facilities in Ludwigshafen. The so-called steamcrackers had been turned off for safety reasons, according to a company spokeswoman.

The cause of the explosion, which occurred at around 11.30am local time, has not yet been revealed and is under investigation.

The company said the blast poses no threat to the environment.

BASF, which employs more than 122,000 workers across the world, said it has informed local authorities about the incident. It is one of the world”s biggest manifacturers of chemicals in the world. 

According to German media, there have been 13 incidents at BASF facilities this year.

More to follow..