One worker was killed on May 31 when a 20,000 litre ammonia tank exploded at a factory near the city of Tarragona in north eastern Spain. Another 14 were injured, including one who is in critical condition and was taken by helicopter to a Barcelona hospital. Three of the injured were firefighters.
The incident took place at the Sociedad Española de Carburos Metálicos plant near the town of La Pobla de Mafumet, north of Tarragona.
The Catalan General Directorate of Civil Protection has called a state of emergency and the local population has been advised not to approach the plant and keep all windows closed.
The General Directorate said in a tweet that prompt action by firefighters and emergency personnel had prevented a toxic cloud from forming over the locality, but local media reported that there was a strong smell of ammonia some distance from the plant.
The local magistrates’ court has started a judicial inquiry into the incident.
Carburos Metálicos makes a wide range of industrial gases and is part of the US-based Air Products group.