German police said yesterday that they had yet to determine what caused a massive explosion at a chemical processing company near Bremen.
Police spokesman Marcus Neumann said investigators had arrived at the site in Ritterhude but were unable to enter because firefighters were still working.
A 60-year-old worker suffered life-threatening burns when he rushed to the scene of the blast.
The explosion at the Organo Fluid company happened at 9pm on Tuesday and could be heard for miles.
About 300 firefighters worked all night to put out the intense fire.
The explosion hit a nearby residential area where about 30 to 40 houses were damaged — some of them only 65 feet from the facility — as the blast shattered windows and tore off roofs.
“We had always looked upon this facility with worry,” said Ritterhude Mayor Susanne Geils.
“We’ve always said this company is out of place here.”