Emergency personnel responded to the Leeson Polyurethanes plastics plant in Leamington Spa, England Friday morning after an explosion occurred and a large fire broke out at the site.
Crews were dispatched to the site at about 10:30 a.m., according to the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald. A fire official told the newspaper that several explosions happened in vats holding chemicals.
“We do not yet know the cause of the incident but are working closely with emergency responders, local officials, and our teams at the plant to determine what led to this incident.” Leeson Polyurethanes said in a statement posted to its website.
Images from the scene published by the Coventry Telegraph captured a massive fireball during the incident.
Evacuations were ordered for homes and businesses within 100m of the plant, coverage by the BBC noted. Debris was reportedly scattered around the town by the blast.
“Air quality has been sampled and the toxicity levels is reasonable and non-harmful. People can access the area with caution, road closures are still in place,” Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service later tweeted.
One employee remains missing following the explosion. A search for the person is ongoing.
“Understandably, there is concern within the community in regards to the welfare of a man who remains unaccounted for following the fire in June Drive, Leamington. Unfortunately, emergency workers are still unable to enter the site of the fire,” Warwickshire Police said in a statement Sunday. “A specialist search operation will commence as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The law enforcement agency said the search for the missing person may take several days.
Leeson Polyurethanes manufactures polyurethane adhesives and coatings.