Third worker found dead at BASF site

Article by Staff Writer

BASF has confirmed a missing worker has been found dead at its Ludwigshafen chemicals site in Germany, taking the tally of workers killed in an explosion at the site on Monday to three.

The worker – who has not been identified – was found by divers yesterday in the basin of the north harbour of the site.

“Unfortunately what we worst feared seems to have come true and we now have a third death to mourn. Our thoughts are with the families and the injured. Today at BASF, all employees held a minute of silence to remember the victims,” says Margret Suckale, BASF board member.

One person is still missing. Eight others were seriously injured in the blast which occurred at 11:30 local time as work was being carried out on a pipeline. The fire was extinguished at 21:30 the same day. The pipelines that burned included ones carrying ethylene and propylene.

24 plants, including the site’s two steam crackers, were shut down at the highly integrated facility. BASF says following an intensive assessment of the safety status, both steam crackers will be gradually restarted over the coming days.

“When the steamcrackers are started up, most of the affected plants will also be gradually restarted or will increase production over the next few days,” BASF said in a statement.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Covering an area 10 km2 and with 200 production plants, Ludwigshafen is the world’s largest chemicals complex, says BASF.

The explosion at Ludwigshafen came just hours after four others were injured 20 km away in a gas explosion at BASF’s Lampertheim facility. A spokesperson told The Chemical Engineer that “a deflagration took place at a filter in a plant for the production of additives for plastics”. Of the four injured, two are in hospital, and the others have returned to work. An investigation is underway.

Article by Staff Writer

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