A man was killed in an explosion in the hall of a chemical company in Krems on Thursday afternoon. This was confirmed by Stefan Loidl from the Lower Austria State Police Headquarters on request. According to the spokesman, two were injured. The building was badly damaged and looks like a pile of rubble. According to the company concerned, the situation is still under control and no chemicals were released.
The explosion was widely noticed in Krems. “Half the building was torn away,” said district fire commander Martin Boyer. Splinters of glass and remains of bricks were scattered around the area. A column of smoke had been visible for many kilometers.
Two workers from an external company were in the building itself. According to Gernot Rohrhofer from the Krems fire brigade’s press team, it was the men’s job to cut out a tank. A fire safety guard was therefore nearby. While one of the two workers died, his colleague was rescued using a turntable ladder and transported to the AKH in Vienna by emergency helicopter.
After the explosion, the company fire brigade and the Krems fire brigade were on the spot. According to Boyer, a total of up to 60 members were deployed. In addition to the district operations manager, the Red Cross also deployed an emergency doctor and four ambulances, reported spokeswoman Sonja Kellner.
As the chemical company announced in a broadcast on Thursday afternoon, the explosion in the warehouse occurred shortly after 1:30 p.m. during demolition work. “The rescue chain was set in motion immediately and the cooperation between the company fire brigade and the rescue services worked perfectly,” it was emphasized. There is no further danger from the operating systems.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear. According to the company, the investigation will “start immediately”. According to police spokesman Loidl, specialists from the Lower Austria State Criminal Police Office were already on the spot on Thursday afternoon.
In a first reaction, LHStv spoke of a “tragic incident”. Stephan Pernkopf (ÖVP). The state deputy thanked the emergency services with whom he was “in contact”.