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02:54

Spain: Thousands join protest in wake of chemical plant explosion

Spain, Tarragona
February 20, 2020 at 00:35 GMT +00:00 · Published

Thousands of protesters and unionists took to the streets of Tarragona on Wednesday, following the recent explosion of a petrochemical refinery reactor, to demand increased safety in the sector, as well as better emergency procedures.

The reactor exploded on Tuesday January 14 and was responsible for the death of two workers and a man at home. Several more were injured.

Unionists could be seen calling for safer working conditions, with CCOO Workers' Commissions flags, as part of a 24-hour sector-wide strike called by the CCOO and the General Union of Workers (UGT).

Footage also shows the damage sustained by the exploding IQOXE [Industrias Quimicas del Oxido de Etileno - petrochemical company] plant reactor.

One protester said the residents "have problems falling asleep." He added, that they have "suffered several accidents in a few months - explosions, fires or bad smells. Bad smells is a continuous thing, practically. It depends on where the air comes from you can't breathe. You open the windows to ventilate and you have to close because there is no way."

Another pointed out that she thought an explosion would happen. "We see what there is, the contamination that exists. We did not know about the insecurity that exists and we knew that day this was going to happen," she said.

The explosion was felt and captured on CCTV at least 3km (1,86 miles) away.

02:54
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Description

Thousands of protesters and unionists took to the streets of Tarragona on Wednesday, following the recent explosion of a petrochemical refinery reactor, to demand increased safety in the sector, as well as better emergency procedures.

The reactor exploded on Tuesday January 14 and was responsible for the death of two workers and a man at home. Several more were injured.

Unionists could be seen calling for safer working conditions, with CCOO Workers' Commissions flags, as part of a 24-hour sector-wide strike called by the CCOO and the General Union of Workers (UGT).

Footage also shows the damage sustained by the exploding IQOXE [Industrias Quimicas del Oxido de Etileno - petrochemical company] plant reactor.

One protester said the residents "have problems falling asleep." He added, that they have "suffered several accidents in a few months - explosions, fires or bad smells. Bad smells is a continuous thing, practically. It depends on where the air comes from you can't breathe. You open the windows to ventilate and you have to close because there is no way."

Another pointed out that she thought an explosion would happen. "We see what there is, the contamination that exists. We did not know about the insecurity that exists and we knew that day this was going to happen," she said.

The explosion was felt and captured on CCTV at least 3km (1,86 miles) away.

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