The headquarters of the world’s largest chemical company, BASF, was hit earlier today by an explosion and numerous fires — none caused by terrorists. The incidents, at Ludwigshafen, Germany, killed at least two people and injured a number of others, and at 2:55 p.m. EDT, nearly 12 and a half hours after 11:30 a.m. (local time) incident, the situation remained in flux, with fires still burning and some degree of confusion on the ground, according to various wire reports. At the time of the blast, workmen were modifying a pipeline used to carry flammable liquids and liquefied gas to a tank at a harbor near one of the complex’s numerous plants. Chemicals used in the plant to produce the likes of eytylene, propylene and hydrogen are supplied through that harbor.
Residents of several nearby towns were encouraged to close their windows and stay indoors as thick black blanketed the area and fires were still burning.