At least ten people have been injured in an explosion and subsequent blaze at a refinery site in vohburg an der donau, upper bavaria. Around 2000 residents had to temporarily leave their homes and apartments on saturday.
Why the explosion occurred in the morning was initially unclear. Dense clouds of dark smoke hung over the countryside, the flames were visible from afar, and a foul smell was in the air. Residents reported the bang in the morning around 5.00 o’clock had been heard for miles around.
The refinery site was a scene of devastation: "entire walls of houses have been knocked down," said bavarian interior minister joachim herrmann (CSU) during a visit to vohburg. The buildings on the site were also severely damaged, for example, parts of the wall buried a car under them. Building parts were flying around. The ten injured were on the company premises at the time of the explosion, and one of them suffered serious injuries, according to herrmann.
After a few hours, the people were able to return to their houses and apartments after the evacuation measures had been taken. The pfaffenhofen an der ilm district office announced that no substances hazardous to health had been detected in the smoke during measurements.
The ministry of the environment announced an assessment of whether the fire and the firefighting work had any impact on people or the environment. "Our experts, who are trained to deal with emergencies, are working flat out to clarify the possible consequences for people and nature and, if necessary, to initiate remedial measures. As things stand, there is no longer any acute danger to the population," said environment minister marcel huber (CSU). The fire department has collected the loach water and will dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner.
Herrmann thanks rescue workers for "smooth" operation. Up to 600 emergency personnel had been alerted. Hundreds of helpers were on the scene in a very short time, praised the minister of the interior. In view of the severity of the spills, he is glad that there have been no fatalities: "thank god there have been no fatalities."
But it was not only on the company site, which belongs to the bayernoil company, that there was damage – in the residential areas, too, windows were broken or tiles fell from the roofs as a result of the shock wave. The addresses where affected citizens can report their damage will be given, herrmann announced. Everyone could rely on the fact that the damages were compensated for.
Bayernoil published corresponding contact data on its internet site. Regarding the damage on the land itself, the company said: "the first experts are on site to assess the damage."
The investigation into the cause of the fire has been taken over by the criminal investigation department ingolstadt and experts from the state criminal investigation department (LKA). Several hours after the explosion, the land was still on fire. However, the police announced that the fire was controlled. The operation will continue into the evening hours, he said.
According to the company, the vohburg refinery went into operation in 1967. The land is just under 130 hectares in size and is located on the danube. The refinery gets its rohol uber transalpine pipeline (TAL) from trieste in italy. In vohburg, it is then processed into gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, bitumen and sulfur. In vohburg and at the second site in neustadt an der donau, 10.3 million tons of raw wood are processed annually.