Leakage of Water Pollutant Fire in BASF's North Section of Ludwigshafen Site

Editor: Alexander Stark

On Wednesday, a fire occurred in the North plant section of BASF's Ludwigshafen site. This resulted in a leak of methyldiethanolamine and oxogas.

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A fire broke out in the North plant section of BASF's Ludwigshafen site on Wednesday. (symbolic image)
A fire broke out in the North plant section of BASF's Ludwigshafen site on Wednesday. (symbolic image)
(Source: BASF)

Ludwigshafen — At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3, a product leak of methyldiethanolamine and oxogas occurred at a plant in BASF's North site in Ludwigshafen, followed by a fire and smoke visible outside the plant for a short time. The company was not yet able to make any statements about the causes. As a precautionary measure, one employee who was in the vicinity of the leak was taken to the plant ambulance for observation, but was able to return to the plant the same day.

A maximum quantity of 650 kg of methyldiethanolamine and 50 kg of diethanolamine, a decomposition product of methyldiethanolamine, had escaped into the Rhine via cooling water channels. Both substances are classified as slightly hazardous to water (WGK1). Due to the amount leaked and the dilution of the products in the Rhine, no hazard to aquatic organisms is to be assumed. As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of the Environment of Rhineland-Palatinate has issued a Rhine information to the Rhine riparians.

The fire was brought under control and, according to the company, contained to a localized part of the plant by the plant fire department. Excess gases were burned off as intended via flares.

The group's environmental monitoring trucks were on the road inside and outside the plant site to record air emissions. However, no elevated levels were detected, the company said.

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