Two dead, one missing in tanker explosion at western German dock

An explosion on an oil tanker rocked a shipyard in western Germany on Thursday morning, killing at least two people, a police statement said.

A third dockworker is missing after the blast in Duisburg, which ripped open at least one of the vessel's fuel holds.

Police said that the explosion had occurred as a result of work carried out on the ship. The exact cause of the accident is unknown.

The force of the blast catapulted the workers several hundred metres onto the land.

Thick smoke was seen billowing from the fuel hold. Fire safety experts took about one hour to extinguish the resulting blaze.

The inland motor tanker is registered as the property of a Duisburg-based shipowner under the name Julius Ruetgers.

Police said the mooring of tankers at the shipyard is only allowed without cargo.

While it is unclear what substance caused the explosion, it could have been down to a residue gas mixture. The vessel's fuel is not thought to have played a role.

Last update: Thu, 31/03/2016 - 12:48

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