Rheinbach/Cologne · It is still unclear how the chemical accident on Monday in a Rheinbach company could have happened. Now the Office for Occupational Safety and Health of the Cologne District Government is involved.
Investigations into the cause of the industrial accident in Rheinbach on Monday continue. As the press office of the district government of Cologne explained on Tuesday in response to an inquiry by the General-Anzeiger newspaper, the office for occupational safety and health of the district government began its investigations on Monday, but these are still ongoing, said Dennis Heidel, press spokesman for the district government.
180 people work in the company
On Monday morning, 300 litres of the toxic solvent tetrachloroethylene had tipped over for unknown reasons in the production hall of an automotive supplier company in the North Industrial Park. Nine people inhaled the vapours of the caustic liquid and had to be taken to hospital. 40 members of the fire brigade and rescue services took care of the injured and treated the spilled hazardous material with granulate and prepared it for disposal.
Because it was not clear at first how many employees might have inhaled the toxic fumes, the rescue services had triggered the alarm "mass casualty incident". Background: According to company information, 180 people are employed at the Rheinbach site of the company.
Production hall in Rheinbach remains closed
It is also unclear how long the production hall will have to remain closed, the district government announced. With chemical protection suits and respiratory protection, the workers had moved into the contaminated building. Since solvents had not only run onto the floor but also under the machines, according to the fire department, the final cleaning was costly.
Original text: Mario Quadt
Translation: Mareike Graepel