A nitrogen tank exploded at Huntsmanâs white pigment factory at the Uerdingen ChemPark site in Germany, at approximately 2 p.m. CET Wednesday. Huntsman safely and deliberately shut down the affected operations. The incident is currently under investigation.
Fifteen people received medical assistance either on site or in hospital. Two people remain hospitalized for observation. There were no fatalities.
|Image courtesy @kani_west.|
âHuntsmanâs primary concern is the health and well-being of our associates and the neighboring community,â said Simon Turner, President of Huntsman Pigments and Additives. âWe are in contact with the families of those injured and doing everything we can to support them at this difficult time.â
Emergency responders have cordoned off a 150-meter area surrounding the site, and access to the plant is restricted at this time. Contrary to earlier reports, despite damage to the building, it did not collapse.
German authorities are running tests to determine if dust on the floor of the affected area contains asbestos. This is routine and based on the age of the building. Asbestos is not used in any aspect of the siteâs operations. Cleanup will proceed upon approval of the authorities.
The Uerdingen site, located 30 kilometers north of Duesseldorf, employs approximately 600 Huntsman associates and contractors. The site produces TiO2, copperas, iron oxide, and products used in the manufacturing of plastics, coatings, paper, laminate, catalysts and ceramics.
Huntsman acquired the Uerdingen site on Oct. 1, 2014, as part of its acquisition of the Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses of Rockwood Holdings Inc.
Further details will be shared as they become available.