Eight people were injured and three were hospitalized, some with serious injuries after a major fire erupted Saturday following an explosion at an oil refinery near the southeastern German city of Ingolstadt early Saturday morning, police said.
More than 1,800 residents had been evacuated as a precautionary measure due to heavy black smoke, a police spokesman said. They were temporarily sheltered in a gymnasium.
Police added that part of the Bayernoil complex caught fire around 5:15 a.m. (0330 UTC) in the town of Vohburg on the Danube River, 18 kilometers (11 miles) east of Ingolstadt. The cause of the blaze remains unclear.
A number of fire brigades, rescue services and technical relief organizations were deployed, and more than 200 firefighters were at the scene.
The Donaukurier local newspaper reported that a number of small explosions were heard after the initial larger blast, and the sound could be heard several kilometers away.
Police said initial findings showed there is currently no danger for local residents, but recommended people within 20 kilometers of the site keep their windows and doors closed.
Authorities said the area would be cordoned off to prevent onlookers from getting too close to the scene and to minimize any danger.
Bayernoil has been operating the oil refinery on 127 hectares (313 acres) of land in Vohburg since 1967.