The bang of the explosion could be heard for miles, and the cloud of smoke that rose afterwards could also be seen from other cities: There was an explosion in the chemical park in Leverkusen on Tuesday morning - for "previously unknown causes", as the chemical park operator Currenta initially announced.

According to Currenta, the explosion did not happen on the core area of ​​the chemical park, but in the area of ​​the landfill and waste incineration.

After the explosion, a tank farm caught fire.

Jonas Jansen

Business correspondent in Düsseldorf.

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The city of Leverkusen announced at noon that four seriously injured and twelve injured had been recovered so far.

The chemical park operator announced in the afternoon that a missing employee had been found dead, four more were still missing.

The plant fire brigade and air measurement specialists are on site, supported by the Cologne fire brigade, among others.

The fire brigade advised residents to keep windows and doors closed and to go into buildings because of the smoke.

There were also warning messages about the smoke via the NINA app for the nearby cities of Wermelskirchen, Burscheid and Leichlingen - residents of Solingen were also informed about possible odor pollution.

Videos and photos shared by users on Twitter showed a system still burning. 

At the Leverkusen West interchange, the police initially blocked Autobahn 1 in both directions.

The A59 and A3 are also affected.

After the explosion, a white and then a black mushroom cloud rose, and the wind is currently pulling the column of smoke towards the Bergisches Land.