Shell refinery explosion injures two

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A large-scale fire raged at the Shell site in Moerdijk, Brabant last night after an explosion in a disused reactor. Mayor Jac Klijs reports that two people have been injured. According to the municipality, the area is now safe, and the fire has been put out.  The emergency services are leaving the area in phases. A large part of the site became accessible again during the night, and a press conference is planned later this morning with more information. A large explosion occurred at around 10.45 p.m. last night, in a chemical complex of shell, in a reactor according to mayor Jac Klijs of Moerdijk. Due to maintenance, this reactor was not in use. Two people were injured with mild burn wounds, they have been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will likely be able to return to their homes in the morning. The reactor is thought to have collapsed in on itself, releasing fluids that caused the explosion. It is unclear exactly what happened, but an investigation will clear up the facts. The mayor says that no harmful chemicals were released into the atmosphere, and there is no need for nearby residents to worry. The mayor does say that ethyl benzene was burnt, which can irritate the eyes and airways, but any such complaints should not last very long. The Shell refinery is situated on the Chemieweg in Moerdijk. The company employs hundreds of people, and has four units on the site, where more than four million tons of chemical products are processed per year, according to Omroep Brabant. A previous fire at chemical company Chemie-Pack in Moerdijk in 2011 caused serious environmental pollution due to the polluted water from the extinguishing activities. Mayor Klijs says that the two incidents have nothing in common, and are not at the same level of disaster.

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