The safety conditions of the IQOXE plant, which accumulates four sanctions for breaching the regulations, focus the investigation on the causes of the explosion in the petrochemical industry of Tarragona to determine if the deaths that it caused can constitute reckless homicide, which has led to the Mossos d’Esquadra to register their headquarters and the zero zone.
The holder of the court of instruction number 1 of Tarragona, which has opened proceedings on the explosion last Tuesday in Chemical Industries of Ethylene Oxide (IQOXE), as well as the Prosecutor’s Office, are waiting for the Mossos d’Esquadra and the Labor Inspection will send you complete reports on the causes of the explosion and the circumstances of the accident.
At the moment, Labor Inspection has revealed that IQOXE has received in the last four years sanctions, between 2,000 and 8,000 euros, for non-compliance with health and safety regulations.
The Minister of Labor, Ckakir el Homrani, has assured that Labor Inspection will go “to the bottom” in his investigation to clarify the “causes and responsibilities of a very serious accident” at the chemical plant of La Canonja (Tarragona), which He has caused three dead and seven wounded.
In the framework of the investigations, the Mossos have registered this afternoon the administrative headquarters of the company in El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) to collect documentation, as well as the zero zone of the factory, at the request of the court that has opened proceedings.
In addition to the police and judicial investigations, the Generalitat Firefighters will begin a priori tonight the transfer, with “all the guarantees” and “security”, of the chemical products of the tank to the tanks, a slow process due to the affectation of the facilities after the explosion and in which a quarantine of people work.
According to Efe sources from the Prosecutor’s Office of Tarragona have been informed, at the moment the judge has received only the first attestations of the Mossos, which report the three dead and the seven injured by the explosion, originated in the reactor tank of the plant that IQOXE has in the southern polygon of the city.
Once the reports of the Mossos d’Esquadra and Labor Inspection are available, the Prosecutor’s Office could request the judge to take further steps to determine if the occupational safety measures were adequate, if he acted with “diligence” in handling the substances involved in the explosion or if, for example, a higher production rate was imposed than the plant could assume.
In case of negligence, according to sources from the Prosecutor’s Office, the open judicial investigation, which so far does not specify what criminal offense is being investigated, could continue its course for crimes of reckless homicide, at least for the death of the two workers of the plant .
In the open court case, an evaluation of the material damage caused by the explosion, which reached buildings and infrastructure outside the petrochemical industry, including the floor partially collapsed by the shock wave of the explosion that caused the death of a fire third person in the Torreforta neighborhood.
Although the final reports on the chemical accident are still awaiting, the Prosecutor’s Office of Tarragona does not believe that at the moment an investigation for crime against the environment can be opened, since there were no spills by the company or recorded that the incident will cause toxic emissions.
The Mossos d’Esquadra, which have already questioned several witnesses, have received dozens of warnings about the remains of the explosion that flew out of the petrochemical zone and that impacted several points in the surrounding area, without any record of more personal damages than the deceased in Torreforta.
At the same time, IQOXE chemistry has announced that it has commissioned the Sarrià Chemical Institute (IQS) an independent investigation of the accident and insisted that it followed the safety protocols.
In a brief statement, the company, owned by the industrial group Cristian Lay, stressed that the IQS “is a university and research center of international reference in the chemical sector” and will now be responsible for conducting an “independent investigation to clarify the reasons for the explosion of one of the four plants of the factory “.
The company has insisted that, “to the extent that the difficult circumstances of the moment allowed it, they followed the security protocols, which allowed the arrival of firefighters to the scene of the incident in just a few minutes.”
On the other hand, the Federation of Industry of the USOC union has demanded that the petrochemical action and communication protocols be reviewed, since it considers that the explosion highlighted “some shortcomings” in its application and in the activation of alarms.
One of the injured company workers said today that, before the explosion, he heard “a very loud noise, as if it were a pressure cooker, as if steam or gas came out.”