A deadly blast at materials company and refinery Unipetrol's facility in Kralupy nad Vltavou, Czech Republic, has reportedly killed six people, according to media reports.
“We have received information about six dead and several others seriously injured,” the BBC cited a regional fire service spokesman telling the local CTK news agency.
Unipetrol makes polyethylene and polypropylene products in addition to fertilizers and fuel. A statement on its website indicated the explosion affected its refinery business.
"This morning, there was an explosion without a subsequent fire in one of the tanks in the Kralupy refinery," the company stated. "At the moment, the situation is under control and there is no other danger. We find out more about the extraordinary event."
The cause of the explosion, which is thought to have taken place at about 1 a.m. local time, is unknown.
Unipetrol has not confirmed the number of casualties yet.
The plant, according to the BBC report, manufactures toughened polystyrene as well as synthetic rubber for shoes and sports equipment.
Unipetrol was planning a shutdown of the refinery in Kralupy nad Vltavou end of March to carry out a major turnaround.
“Regular maintenance of all equipment in the facility will start on 27 March, and during this time, the service will be completely shut down,” the company announced March 19.
The refinery and petrochemical group Unipetrol is the only crude oil processor in the Czech Republic.