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  • An explosion is seen through a car window, in Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain January 14, 2020 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video.

    An explosion is seen through a car window, in Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain January 14, 2020 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 January 2020

Rescue services called the blast a “chemical accident,” adding the fire had been contained and that several of the injured had suffered burns.

One person was killed, another was missing and six were injured Tuesday in an explosion and fire at a chemical factory in the northeastern town of Tarragona in the Spanish semi-autonomous region of Catalonia, local authorities reported.

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Rescue services called the blast a “chemical accident,” adding the fire had been contained and that several of the injured had suffered burns. The affected company is Industrias Quimicas del Oxido de Etileno, the fire brigade said.

The building in which one person died collapsed near the factory. This was due to a shockwave from the explosion, media including La Vanguardia and El Pais newspapers said.

“We dispatched two medical units (to the collapsed building) which confirmed the death of one person and treated a second person with less severe injuries,” Catalonia’s emergency medical service said in a tweet.

An explosion in the south of Tarragona's petrochemical complex.
 

Catalonia's President since 2018 Quim Torra, his Vice President Pere Aragones and the Minister of the Interior Miquel Buch have moved to the place. Torra affirmed the population "there is no toxic element", the newspaper El Pais reported.

While Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s office said he was in touch with Catalan authorities and that Madrid was ready to “provide the necessary support due to this serious event, which has caused several injuries and substantial material damage.”

Since 2015, Tarragona, a city of 800,000, has housed a 1,200-hectare chemical hub known as ChemMed which is the largest of its kind in southern Europe, AP reported.

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