Deadly blast at chemical plant in Tarragona, Spain

Deadly blast at chemical plant in Tarragona, Spain

15 January 2020 12:10 pm

An explosion at a chemical plant in Spain's autonomous Catalonia region has killed at least one person and injured another eight, officials say.

One person is missing after the blast, south of Tarragona, set off a huge fire. Officials say it was probably sparked by a chemical accident.

Authorities initially urged residents to stay indoors but later said no toxic substances had been released. Dozens of firefighters tackled the blaze late into the night.

The explosion at the Industrias Químicas del Óxido de Etileno plant happened at 18:40 local time (17:40 GMT) in La Canonja municipality. The dead person was found in a nearby building that collapsed.

At least two of the injured people had serious burns, Catalonia's civil protection service said. Rescuers are searching for the missing person, a plant employee. Late on Tuesday Catalan leader Quim Torra told reporters: "Now we can send a message of calm and confidence to people. There is no toxicity and therefore people can carry on with their lives as normal."

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez later offered support for the Catalan authorities in dealing with the accident.