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.
The plant fire brigade and air measurement experts were on site, and there was initially no information about possible injuries.
Business correspondent in Düsseldorf.
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The fire brigade advised residents to keep windows and doors closed and to go into buildings because of the smoke.
Videos and photos that users shared on Twitter show a still burning plant - apparently the explosion occurred in a landfill.
At the Leverkusen West interchange, the police initially blocked Autobahn 1 in both directions.
The A59 is also affected.
After the explosion, a white and then a black smoke pils rose, and the wind is currently pulling the column of smoke towards the Bergisches Land.