German refinery explosion: Eight injured and 1,800 evacuated

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
The cause of the major fire is not yet known

An explosion and fire at an oil refinery in southern Germany has injured eight people, officials say.

The incident at the refinery near Ingolstadt, which is about 80km (50 miles) north of Munich, happened at 05:30 local time (03:30 GMT).

Hundreds of firefighters are at the scene, and a police statement said there was "a risk of more explosions".

Authorities ordered 1,800 residents to evacuate their homes, but local media report they are now able to return.

Images and video shared on social media show a major fire and huge plumes of smoke billowing into the air.

Image source, Reuters / Twitter @I_LECTRON
Image caption,
The explosion is said to have been felt within a radius of several kilometres
Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Hundreds of firefighters have been deployed to the site

The cause of the explosion, which was reportedly felt within a radius of several kilometres, is not yet known.

In a statement, police said three of the victims had suffered "medium or serious injuries".

They added that work to extinguish the flames was continuing.

Residents within a 20km radius of the site have been advised to keep their doors and windows closed because of the smoke.

The refinery is owned by the Bayernoil group, which employs nearly 800 people across two sites in the region.