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Explosions at a chemical plant in Catalonia region, Spain, forced emergency actions

Two explosions occurred Tuesday afternoon at the Industrias Químicas del Óxido de Etileno chemical plant in Spain's autonomous Catalonia region killing at least one person and injuring another eight, two of them with serious burns.

They have been transferred to Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron hospital. The first explosion was in an ethylene oxide tank which caused the second in an electricity substation. A huge blaze followed. Around 20 emergency vehicles were deployed. Dozens of firefighters tackled the blaze late into the night. No toxic substances had been released. One person is missing. A nearby building collapsed. The local civil defense agency described the explosion as a "chemical accident."

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No details of the causes of the explosion were known. In addition to Tarragona, the warning applied to the nearby communities of Salou, Vila-seca, Reus , Constanti, El Morell, and La Canonja. Services were for a time suspended on nearby train lines, including the connections between Tarragona and Reus and Tarragona and Port Aventura. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez later offered support for the Catalan authorities in dealing with the accident. The Catalan president, Quim Torra, along with vice-president Pere Aragonès, interior minister Miquel Buch and health minister Alba Verges have travelled to the nearby Reus, from where they are monitoring the situation.

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