The Oct. 17 explosion that left three people dead and 25 others injured at the BASF Ludwigshafen plant in Germany was the result of a contractor error.
Prior to the blast, workers were “carrying out scheduled maintenance on an empty pipeline connecting storage tanks to an area where liquids are unloaded” from the vessels on the Rhine river, said officials at BASF, the world’s largest chemical company.
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Investigators last Thursday found a cut in a nearby pipeline containing flammable gas, said BASF board member Margaret Suckale. As such, BASF said the deadly blast ended up likely caused when a contractor mistakenly cut the wrong pipeline.
If this theory is correct, the gas would have then been ignited by sparks, producing a flame then the immense explosion.
Three people died as a result of the explosion, with eight others seriously injured and 17 others suffering lighter injuries.
The chemical giant said it will continue to investigate the accident.