A massive blast rocked a chemicals plant in northern Germany on Tuesday, a spokesman for the fire service told AFP, with no details yet on casualties.
The explosion was heard many kilometres away and several buildings of the factory were on fire, the spokesman said.
Quoting a local police source, Bild newspaper reported that an employee of the factory has been reported missing while one person injured in the blast was being evacuated.
"The houses nearby are certain to have been seriously damaged," Marcus Neumann, a police spokesman told Bild.
The newspaper also said that a building has collapsed.
Inhabitants in the immediate surrounding have been told to close their doors and windows, Radio Bremen said, as witnesses reported thick fumes billowing at the site.
The explosion struck in Ritterhude, a city with 15,000 inhabitants to the north of Bremen.
According to the website of local newspaper Weser Kurier, the chemicals factory belongs to Bergolin, which produces industrial paint.