Explosion and fire at German oil refinery injures 9

By Kathrin Zeilmann, dpa

An explosion and blaze at an oil refinery complex in southern Germany injured nine employees and forced the temporary evacuation of some 1,800 people nearby, police said.

The cause of the blast at the Bayernoil complex in Vohburg an der Donau, near the city of of Ingolstadt, has not been determined.

The detonation could be heard kilometres away and the subsequent fire spread quickly, sending large plumes of black smoke over the area.

Three of injured were hospitalized, some with serious injuries, police said.

The residents were evacuated due to concerns about the thick smoke. They were allowed to return home when the sky began to clear, about three hours after the initial blast lit up the early morning sky.

About 400 firefighters and police were on the scene. Shortly after noon (1000 GMT) some smoke could still be seen rising from the site.

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