One worker has died and another 19 people were injured after an explosion at a chemical factory in Barcelona sent debris flying through the air.
The explosion took place in the factory owned by chemical company Proquibasa in the Montsolis industrial area in the Verneda neighbourhood of the city of Barcelona in the eastern Spanish region of Catalonia.
Local media report tests were being carried on one of the vertical deposits in the factory’s warehouse when a resistance test caused the explosion at around 3 pm yesterday (Tuesday).
Reports state the explosion destroyed the roof and walls of the warehouse as it sent debris raining down over nearby buildings.
A worker in a nearby factory, who has not been named, was killed when a large piece of debris crashed through the roof and hit him. He died as a consequence of the impact which witnesses say took place on the second floor of the factory.
Two women who were working close to the victim reportedly had to be treated by paramedics.
One of Proquibasa’s workers, who has not been named, was reported missing when a headcount was taken after the explosion and the authorities are searching for them.
Antonio Cabezas, Head of the Firefighters of Barcelona, said their work in the area would take some time in order to remove the spillages of flammable toxic liquids which occurred in the factory in the blast.
The 19 people reported as injured all work in the Proquibasa factory or factories nearby. Most reportedly suffered injuries to their limbs and 13 have been hospitalised. Reports state they are not in serious conditions.
Witnesses said that at the time of the explosion they felt a huge noise and shaking before debris began raining down for between 10 and 15 seconds.
Cars and other vehicles were damaged by the debris which included lumps of concrete and large screws.
In January, two people died and eight were injured in an explosion at a chemical factory in Tarragona, also in Catalonia. One of the victims was in his house when a piece of debris crashed into the building and hit him.