Eight Injured, Thousands Evacuated After Blast, Fire At German Refinery

Firefighters work at the site of the refinery where an explosion took place early Saturday in Vohburg

Firefighters work at the site of the refinery where an explosion took place early Saturday in Vohburg

FRANKFURT -An explosion and fire erupted Germany's Vohburg refinery in Bavaria state early on Saturday morning and firefighters started to get the situation under control by midday, police said.

The cause of the explosion - which could be felt from several kilometres away according to local media - is not now known.

More than 1,800 people were evacuated from the area, a police spokesperson said. Air tests later showed it was safe for people to return to their homes.

Fire engines are at the scene and some 200 firefighters are reported to be tackling the blaze.

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The Donaukurier local newspaper reported that a number of small explosions were heard after the initial blast, and the sound could be heard several kilometers away.

Residents within a 20km radius of the site have been advised to keep their doors and windows closed because of the smoke.

Officials are yet to disclose information on what caused the explosion and the damage incurred at the facility that produces 1,20,000 barrels per day.

Bayernoil has been operating the oil refinery on 127 hectares (313 acres) of land in Vohburg since 1967.

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