Germany gas pipe explosion kills one, injures 26
24 October 2014
A gas explosion at Ludwigshafen in western Germany on October 23 killed a building worker and injured 26 people. The blast created a crater 10 metres in diameter and 6 metres deep, damaged around 50 homes and destroyed a number of parked cars. Police and prosecutors are now investigating the blast.
The company Gascade announced that workers had attempted to dig down to a buried pipeline in a residential area near an industrial site operated by chemicals group BASF, which has its headquarters in Ludwigshafen.
Gascade officials said it remained unclear what had damaged the pipe, a section of a 57-kilometre line that leads southward to the city of Karlsruhe. Police said the main blaze at the site was extinguished within a few hours, and smaller fires were also soon brought under control.
The area was still sealed off the following day as the fire service discovered a fresh leak from a gas pipe, a police spokesman said. People living within a 150-metre radius of the explosion site were evacuated.
In September, another explosion at a chemicals plant in the northern town of Ritterhude damaged dozens of homes.