An explosion in an industrial park of chemical companies rocked the German city of Leverkusen on Tuesday, sending a large black cloud rising into the air.
The German Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance called the explosion an “extreme threat” and asked residents to stay inside and keep windows and doors closed, a reported the German news agency dpa.
Operators at the Chempark site in Leverkusen, about 20 kilometers (13 miles) north of Cologne on the Rhine, said the cause of the explosion was unclear.
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They said on Twitter that firefighters and pollution detection vans had been deployed.
Police could not be immediately reached for further details.
The Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger daily reported that the explosion took place in the Buerrig district in a garbage incineration plant in the chemical park.
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The newspaper said several major highways nearby had been closed by police. He also reported that the smoke cloud was moving in a north-westerly direction towards the towns of Burscheid and Leichlingen.
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Leverkusen is home to Bayer, one of Germany’s largest chemical companies.
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