Blasts at French petrochemical plant appear 'malicious'

2015-07-14 14:53
Smoke billows from a petrochemical plant operated by LyondellBasell in Berre-l'Etang near Marseille in southern France. (Boris Horvat, AFP)

Smoke billows from a petrochemical plant operated by LyondellBasell in Berre-l'Etang near Marseille in southern France. (Boris Horvat, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - Two explosions which started fires at a petrochemical plant in southern France early on Tuesday are believed to have been the result of a "malicious act", sources said.

Police said no one was injured in the explosions that happened in Berre-l'Etang near Marseille-Marignane airport at 03:00

"Two tanks 500 metres apart that are full of chemical products are affected (by the explosions)," said a source close to the case, who wished to remain anonymous.

A thick cloud of smoke emanating from the plant, which is operated by chemical firm LyondellBasell, was visible several kilometres away.

The company said the fire in one tank had already been put out while the blaze in the second vat was in the process of being extinguished.

One tank contains petrol, while another vat contains naphtha, a flammable liquid distilled from petroleum.

"A malicious act is a serious hypothesis," said the source.

"The probability that these two fires in tanks 500m apart could be accidental is very low. Investigators are leaning towards the theory of a voluntary act," another informed source said.

Police, gas masks hanging around their neck, set up road blocks to stop anyone from getting near the site, and more than 100 firemen were at the scene.

Read more on:    france

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.