Blast and huge fire at Spanish chemical factory

Blast and huge fire at Spanish chemical factory

La Vanguardia newspaper said on its website that the person died after a building collapsed as a effect of the shockwave generated by the explosion on Tuesday while others have been injured.

At the same time local roads were closed to traffic and rail services were interrupted, although normal service was resumed between Tarragona-Reus and Port Aventura shortly afterwards.

The blast also killed a factory worker and left another eight injured.

The third victim, a man who had suffered severe burns, died in a Barcelona hospital nearly 24 hours after the blast, Spanish private news agency Europa Press reported.

At least two of the injured people had serious burns, Catalonia's civil protection service said.

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The explosion took place in a part the complex that had begun operations in June 2017 and had been operating normally, he added, prior to Tuesday's explosion of a 20-tonne tank full of ethylene oxide.

The chief executive of IQOXE Jose Luis Morlanes said the company had opened an internal investigation into the explosion.

The regional fire service said some 30 fire engines had been working to try and contain the inferno and cool down the propylene oxide tank at the IQOXE facility, which specialises in the production of ethylene oxide, glycol and propylene oxide. Fire chief Albert Ventosa said the blaze was under control Wednesday. A sheet of metal weighing 800 kilos was blasted that distance from the plant and smashed into the building where the victim, a man in his 50s, was crushed by debris in his apartment on the floor below the point of impact.

Antonia Caballero, 65, was cleaning her house when the explosion occurred. I looked out to the window and saw the flames. "They told us to stay indoors but the sirens did not go off", said Ursula Marin who runs a store in the neighbourhood. "My sons called me".

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