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Blast rocks chemical waste facility in northwestern Germany, 1 person severely injured

  • In this image taken from video emergency personnel respond as smoke and flames rise over a chemical waste facility in Ritterhude, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.  Police said that one person was severely burned in the blast Tuesday night and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area. (AP Photo/DNF via APTN)

    In this image taken from video emergency personnel respond as smoke and flames rise over a chemical waste facility in Ritterhude, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Police said that one person was severely burned in the blast Tuesday night and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area. (AP Photo/DNF via APTN)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this image taken from video smoke and flames rise over a chemical waste facility in Ritterhude, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.  Police said that one person was severely burned in the blast Tuesday night and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area. (AP Photo/DNF via APTN)

    In this image taken from video smoke and flames rise over a chemical waste facility in Ritterhude, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Police said that one person was severely burned in the blast Tuesday night and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area. (AP Photo/DNF via APTN)  (The Associated Press)

  • Smoke and flames rise over a chemical waste facility in Ritterhude near Bremen, Tuesday evening, Sept. 9, 2014.  Police said that one person was severely burned in the blast Tuesday night and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area.  (AP Photo/dpa, Ingo Wagner)

    Smoke and flames rise over a chemical waste facility in Ritterhude near Bremen, Tuesday evening, Sept. 9, 2014. Police said that one person was severely burned in the blast Tuesday night and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area. (AP Photo/dpa, Ingo Wagner)  (The Associated Press)

An explosion rocked a chemical waste facility Tuesday night near Bremen in northwestern Germany, injuring several people, police said.

Police told the DPA news agency that one person was severely burned in the blast and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area in the town of Ritterhude, which is in the county of Verden-Osterholz.

The injured man was found in the rubble and several local residents were slightly injured, police and firefighters said.

The 9 p.m. blast in Ritterhude could be heard for miles and sparked an intense fire.

Marcus Neumann, spokesman for the local Verden-Osterholz police, said authorities believe the injured man is a plant employee whose car was found outside the plant.

Neumann said the employee responded to an alarm on his beeper, and drove from his home to the plant to investigate.

Neumann said the cause of the blast was not clear, as the site was still too hot and not yet accessible to investigators.

The plant is owned by Organo Fluid GmbH, which specializes in recovering valuable solvents from mixtures of solvents.