At least 1 killed, 1 missing, 8 hurt in Spain chemical accident

Agence France-Presse . Madrid | Updated at 02:15pm on January 15, 2020

A person was killed, eight others were injured and one reportedly went missing following an explosion and fire at a chemical plant in northeast Spain on Tuesday, regional authorities said.

The cause of the blast at the IQOXE facility — which specialises in the production of ethylene oxide, glycol and propylene oxide — was not immediately known. Spain’s civil protection authority insisted that no toxic substances had been detected in the surrounding area.

Fire-fighters moved in to put out the blaze, which was said to have begun in an ethylene oxide tank, and to ‘cool down the adjacent tanks’.

Emergency services said eight people had been injured, including two with severe burns, following the explosion at La Canonja, a town in Tarragona province.

Video footage showed high flames and columns of smoke around the complex.

The person who was killed had been in a nearby house destroyed in the blast, the civil protection service said.

The missing person was a worker at the plant.

Local authorities urged residents in the immediate vicinity to remain indoors, while the civil protection unit said the air was free of toxic substances.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez offered ‘the necessary support’ to the Catalan authorities.