One dead, six hurt in Spain chemical blast

Tarragona explosion

Tarragona is located 70 miles south west of Barcelona, the regional capital of Spain's Catalonia region.

Another person was killed in a nearby house destroyed in the blast, officials said.

Following the explosion, around 24 emergency vehicles rushed to the scene and the Catalan fire brigade said it had rescued three injured people who were being attended by emergency services.

The dead person was found in a nearby building that collapsed. At around 2 a.m., for safety reasons, they suspended the search for the missing worker.

IQOXE is the only producer of Ethylene Oxide in Spain, with an installed capacity of 140,000 tonnes per year, and 50% of this production is destined to the manufacture of Glycol, one of the main raw materials for the production of PET polymers.

Some local residents told Tarragona Radio that the blast could be heard from miles away.

"We didn't know what was happening!"

Emergency services have called the explosion a "chemical accident". I left right away'. "I thought I was going to have a heart attack".

The deputy head of the region's civil protection division accused IQOXE of dragging its feet in providing details about the incident, which led to delays in warning the public.

They added: "There is no evidence of a toxic cloud".

But Jose Luis Morlanes, director general of IQOXE, insisted the company - whose products are used in antifreeze fluids, dehumidifiers, detergents and cosmetics - had done nothing wrong.

Firefighters later announced that they had brought the situation under control, but were still working to manage a burning ethylene oxide tank, where the fire is believed to have broken out.

But firefighters and Spain's civil protection authority said no toxic substances had been detected in the surrounding area, with substances at the plant said to be highly flammable but not toxic.



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