One person has died, eight have been injured and another is missingafter a strongexplosionwhich has caused a great fire in an industry in the petrochemical zone ofTarragona, which has forced thousands of neighbors to confine themselves in their homes, although without causing a toxic cloud.
The explosion, whichhas been perceptible several kilometersin the round, it has originated, for reasons that are investigated, at 6:41 p.m. at the Chemical Industries of Ethylene Oxide (IQOXE), located in La Canonja, next to the N-340, and dedicated to the production of oxide ethylene, which is not toxic but very flammable.
Eight workers of this chemical company have sufferedBurnsdue to the explosion and subsequent fire, two of which have been evacuated to the Vall d'Hebrón hospital,one in critical condition and another very serious.
Of the other six injured workers, one has been transferred with burns of varying consideration to the Hospital Juan XXIII of Tarragona, while the other five have sufferedminor injuries and three of them have already been discharged.
Further,another operator is missing, so the Firefighters are trying to locate you in the petrochemical zone.
According to the Generalitat, theshock wave could have caused the partial collapse of a buildingof five floors in the García Lorca square in Torreforta, wherea neighbor has diedand another has had to be treated by an anxiety crisis.
The holder of the court of instruction number 1 of Tarragona has gone to the place after having confirmation, by the Mossos d'Esquadra, that a person had died when buried in the building, due to the explosion, as reported by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia.
The Generalitat Firefighters, who have sent toabout thirty endowments to the petrochemical zoneThe Canonja, have managed to contain the strength of the flames of a tank with ethylene oxide and have been deployed to search inside the enclosure for the missing operator.
Shortly before 10 pm, Firefighters have given thestabilized fire, although it is not yet controlled, so they are still in the area trying to extinguish the fire in the affected tank.
The explosion has caused agreat column of fire and smoke, very vertical, and has caused a rumble that has shaken the ground in the petrochemical zone and its surroundings, where Civil Protection has activated the emergency phase of the chemical accident reaction plan (PLASEQCAT).
Some neighbors have complained that alarm sirens have not sounded, despite the importance of this incident, while the Federation of Industry of CCOO of Catalonia has denounced that the Emergency Plan of the chemical sector, PLASEQCAT, "has failed."
The impact of the explosion has not exceeded the perimeter of the polygon, so Civil Protection has not activated the alarm sirens, as argued by the Generalitat.
The president of the Generalitat,Quim Torra, the vice president, Pere Aragonès, the Minister of Interior, Miquel Buch, and the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, have moved to the building of the 112 emergency center of Reus (Tarragona), where they have met with the heads of the teams of emergency to track the device.
At the end of the meeting, around 9:45 p.m.,Torra has appeared with the advisors before the mediato send a message of calm to the population, show their solidarity with the victims and thank the work of the emergency teams.
As a preventive measure,Civil Protection had initially requested the confinement of neighborsof the towns of Tarragona, Salou, Vila-seca, Reus, Constantí, El Morell and La Canonja, although around 19:30 hours they have restricted it to La Canonja and Vila-seca, and in the rest of localities only if there were discomforts By the smoke.
The confinement has been lifted minutes after 9:30 p.m., since, according to the Interior Minister, Miquel Buch, there has been no risk to the health of the residents of the area because no air toxicity has been caused.
After the explosion, the Catalan Traffic Service has cut off traffic on the N-340, between Vilaseca and Tarragona, the C-31B, from Vilaseca to Tarragona and on the link between the T-315 and the A-7 in Reus, if It could be restored after 8:10 p.m.
Parallel,Renfe has interrupted train trafficin the sections that go from Tarragona to Reus and from Tarragona to PortAventura, which affects lines R13, R14, R15, R16 and R17, as well as RT1 and RT2, which have recovered circulation shortly after, although with delays .
The company where the explosion occurred, the only one in Spain that processes this gas, opened on July 4 the new ethylene oxide plant, which is used to manufacture polymers, with a capacity to produce a total of 140,000 tons per year .
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