BASF explosion claims fourth worker

Article by Staff Writer

A FOURTH person has been killed from injuries caused by an explosion earlier this month at BASF’s Ludwigshafen chemical site.

BASF has announced that a firefighter who was severely injured in the blast on 17 October died on Saturday. Early indications are that the blast was caused by a worker who cut a wrong pipe.

Workers were carrying out maintenance on a deflated and secured ethylene pipeline route, a BASF spokesperson explained to The Chemical Engineer.

“What I can confirm is that according to the investigations of the district attorney, a cut has been found in a pipeline containing flammable raffinate. This pipeline was not part of the maintenance work.”

It is thought that a butylene mixture leaked from the incorrectly-cut pipeline and was ignited by sparks produced by an angle grinder being used on the ethylene pipeline.

The resulting explosion killed two firefighters and a worker on a tanker moored in the harbour. It was initially thought that a fourth person was missing but they were later identified among the injured taken to hospital. Seven people were severely injured in the blast while 22 others received light injuries.

“I am deeply saddened that another employee has passed away due to this tragic accident. Everyone at BASF is in mourning. Our thoughts are with the deceased colleagues, their families and friends,” said BASF chairman Kurt Bock.

Article by Staff Writer

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