During a severe fire in a chemical plant of the Shell oil company at least two people have suffered burns. During the night several explosions had shaken the petrochemical plant south-east of Rotterdam.
In a chemical plant of the oil company Shell Moerdijk in the Netherlands several explosions have triggered a major fire. Two to four people were slightly injured, reported the security authorities of the Dutch province of North Brabant.
The victims have been taken to hospital with burns, said the mayor of Moerdijk, Jac Klijs in on Tuesday night. The clouds of smoke were not dangerous for the residents. Nevertheless, the authorities advised the people to keep the windows closed to protect eyes and respiratory tract.
All personnel are accounted for, according to Shell, but several people suffered minor injuries.
It is not yet known exactly what chemical caused the fire but it may be ethylbenzene or methylbenzene, according to local media.
The fire started during a shift change, according to Marieke van Wijk of the Safety Mid and West Brabant.
“The blaze is pretty intense,” said van Wijk.
The detonations had occurred according to the authorities around 23 clock during a shift change. Shortly thereafter, whether in the complex, which is located about 40 kilometers from Rotterdam, fire erupted.
Netherlands Plant Explosion:”Enormous explosions”
Residents said the local radio station Omroep Brabant, they had heard “two enormous explosions”. The earth was shaking like an earthquake. Witnesses reported by meter-high flames that were fought by the fire department. The fireball was seen after reports of Dutch television several miles to Rotterdam. From about 0.30 clock the fire was largely under control.
The cause of the explosion in the petrochemical plant in Moerdijk, south-east of Rotterdam was not immediately known. In the 320-acre industrial complex shell manufactures materials from oil derivatives that are used among other things for the production of latex paints and synthetic fibers.
First reports of Dutch media report that did not occur in the accident ethylbenzene from, but in hazardous concentration, as it was called. Only in 2011 it had come from the company in Moerdijk chemical pack to a serious incident: At that time, large amounts of chemicals, at least 20 people had to be treated for health problems in the hospital, another 150 complained of discomfort.