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Explosion at BASF Ludwigshafen chemical plant leaves several injured or missing

An explosion at world’s largest chemical manufacturer BASF’s facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany, on Monday has left several injured and still others are missing.

The company said it does not yet know what triggered the explosion, but it is working to determine the reason.

What is known so far is that the blast happened during work on a pipeline transporting chemicals to a river harbour used to unload flammable liquids and liquid gas, according to BASF. 

"There was an explosion with several people injured for as-yet undetermined reasons at around 11:30 (09:30GMT) at BASF Ludwigshafen," the company said in a press release and on Twitter.

Locals have been advised to stay inside, and according to Deutsche Welle news agency some residents near the plant have contacted health officials complaining about “respiratory irritation”.