A nitrogen tank has exploded on Aug. 5 at Huntsman Corp.'s white pigment factory in Uerdingen, Germany.
Huntsman confirmed in a press statement that 15 people received medical assistance either on site or in hospital. Two people remain hospitalized for observation. There were no fatalities.
“Huntsman's primary concern is the health and well-being of our associates and the neighboring community,” said Simon Turner, president of Huntsman Pigments and Additives.
“We are in contact with the families of those injured and doing everything we can to support them at this difficult time.”
Emergency services cordoned off a 150-meter area surrounding the site, and access to the plant was being restricted. Despite damage to the building, it did not collapse as previously indicated in media reports, said Huntsman.
German authorities were running tests to determine if dust on the floor of the affected area contains asbestos. The company said this was routine and based on the age of the building. Asbestos was not used in any aspect of the site's operations, it said, and a cleanup operation would proceed upon approval of the authorities.
The Uerdingen site employs approximately 600 Huntsman associates and contractors. The site produces titanium, coppers, iron oxide and products used in the manufacturing of plastics, coatings, paper, laminate, catalysts and ceramics.
The Woodlands, Texas-based Huntsman acquired the Uerdingen site in October as part of the performance additives and titanium dioxide businesses of Rockwood Holdings Inc.