- Early Saturday morning an explosion took place in a refinery in Vohburg (Pfaffenhofen district).
- At least 10 people were injured, one of them seriously, according to the police. According to the company Bayernoil, owner of the refinery, even 15 people had to be treated medically.
- How high the damage of the accident is, is still unclear.
- The criminal investigation started the investigation, but the location of the fire can not yet be investigated by experts.
There are black skeletons left over from the factory, they keep disappearing behind the swelling, dark clouds of smoke and the flood of extinguishing water, from buzzing splashes from all sides. Fires remain burning inside the refinery, five of which can be seen at a distance of a few hundred meters. Everything is burnt out and around it is also a picture of the devastation: the explosion has been brought down through the walls of houses, apparently flying façade parts have crushed a car. It smells caustic, like the petrol station of a petrol station, also a different tone, a bit like scorched plastic. "Maybe you will not even get that stench out of your clothes," warns a policeman. This also applies to the Minister of the Interior and his blue jacket, on this day without a tie.
Joachim Herrmann (CSU) is late Saturday morning outside the refinery in Vohburg in Ingolstadt, where five hours before a loud bang was the prelude to this trail of devastation and the emergency alarm in the district Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm. Dozens of firefighters, especially firefighters, fight fire and smoke. Herrmann, who gets a picture of the situation and hardly says anything, listens only to the officials, is satisfied. Because the plant is already in a safe state at that moment & # 39; is, as mentioned, nothing stops. The disaster has not become a major catastrophe. "Happiness", the minister will explain later.
It is actually fortunate that this Saturday happened in Vohburg and surroundings; that only tanks exploded and not the tank farm; that at least ten people, employees of the refinery, were injured, four of them more serious, but that there are no deaths; and that the thick cloud of smoke for which 2000 citizens had to leave their homes according to all the known was not harmful to health. At 5:15 am the explosion occurred at the plant of the company Bayernoil, until Pfaffenhofen heard a number of people torn out of their beds and quickly saw the smoke and the bright orange glow of burning gasoline.
An important operation: the police block the area from a large area, including the main road. The district office Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm triggers disaster alarm with evacuations. Up to 600 helpers from the fire brigade, police, technical aid organization and Red Cross are in action at the top. A few kilometers from Bayernoil a car park becomes a situation center for the emergency services. Early in the morning everything was clear: the inspection flights of a helicopter had shown that the tank farm is and remains untouched. The fire in the refinery can be burned or extinguished. "The fast and professional intervention of the emergency services" is worse, "said the Minister of Home Affairs, the cooperation was" excellent "." Campaign ", a journalist whispers in the car traffic, which quickly becomes the press base, but in an accident With such dimensions one may assume that Herrmann would have come at any time – it is his Beritt.
On Sunday, the extinguishing work is still going on, reports a spokesman for the responsible police headquarters Upper Bavaria-North. This also has consequences for the research. Although Criminal Investigation Ingolstadt started Saturday with interviews and the like on behalf of the public prosecutor, fire experts from the ICC were also consulted. As long as it is still extinguished, the refinery can not be entered; and then also the statics must first be checked.
Whether the removal can be completed at all on Sunday was still questionable in the afternoon. The cause remained unclear on Sunday. According to reports, tanks explode into the distillation column – where chemical mixtures are separated into their constituents. So in the middle of the process of oil refining. Jürgen Deinert, head of maintenance at Bayernoil, said on Saturday the SZ, everything was checked regularly by the TÜV. A part of the refinery was therefore checked in March, another section was adjusted in March 2019. Incidents in this industry with its flammable substances are not uncommon, even smaller fires are almost routine. the Donaukurier documented various fires and explosions in oil processing in and around Ingolstadt in recent decades, occasionally with killing. Bayernoil announces on Sunday that the process equipment is secured, "the cause investigations have begun". The company reports with 15 more injured than the police, apparently minor injuries are also counted. Generally nobody should have been deadly.
Ten million tons of crude oil a year is processed in Vohburg and in the nearby Neustadt an der Donau. The refinery receives crude oil via the Transalpine pipeline from Trieste. In Bavaria it is refined and processed into petrol, fuel oil and kerosene. The refinery in Vohburg went into operation in 1967. The basis for this was laid at the end of the fifties; Economic wonder, when the agricultural Bayern wanted to become an industrial country. And the industry needs energy – Minister of Economic Affairs Otto Schedl (CSU) has developed plans for refinery settlements. Five locations were created in Ingolstadt and the surrounding area, in the middle of Bavaria. "Anyone who talks about Ingolstadt today and today means oil," said Schedl. In 2005 it was decided to dismantle the part of Ingolstadt, but to expand Vohburg and Neustadt. Audi and the city want to build a future campus on the site in the south of Ingolstadt. It is now being extensively renovated. The soil damage shows well the process of oil refining.
The Ministry of the Environment is also investigating whether the fire and extinguishing activities have an impact on people and nature. Initial measurements would have yielded a complete overview. The soot cloud was moved Saturday to Manching, where it could rain. Environment Minister Marcel Huber (CSU) came to the Situation Center on Saturday. Contaminated fire extinguishing water would be collected and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner, he said. From an environmental point of view, it is positive: water was used and not very toxic extinguishing foams, with so-called perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals.
The early period contributed to the relatively mild outcome of the accident. Only 30 employees worked on the morning of the explosion in the refinery and the usual shift work was going on, explains Bayernoil expert Deinert. A maximum of 150 employees work on the 127-hectare site on the normal working day of the day. The impact of the accident could have been worse. The company operates the largest refinery in the Bavarian region, at the two locations – in addition to Vohburg there is still Neustadt an der Donau in the area – a total of 790 employees work day and night. Bayernoil called on local residents to document the damage they had made – for example, through the explosion of broken windows – with photographs and to assert their claims. The total damage in the refinery and region will probably amount to many millions of euros.