An explosion at a chemicals plant in the western German city of Leverkusen on Tuesday led to a fire in a tank containing solvents, the city authorities said.
Five workers remained unaccounted for, while 16 were injured, four of them seriously, following the blast, which took place in a tank depot at the Buerrig disposal facility at 9:30 am (0730 GMT)
Firefighting had to be delayed until an electricity cable was disconnected, but had commenced, the city authorities said.
Smoke hung over the site operated by the Currenta company, and the authorities issued an “extreme danger” warning and urged and residents of the city on the Rhine to close windows and doors.
Leverkusen police said they had deployed with a large number of officers. They closed the nearby motorway and urged residents to keep roads free for the emergency services.