BRUSSELS, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Two people were killed Tuesday afternoon in an explosion at a Total refinery in Antwerp, northern Belgium, confirmed the French oil giant.
The explosion occurred in a steam system of a gasoline production unit, Total said in a statement, deploring the death of two employees of a subcontractor company.
Earlier reports quoting the company as saying that one people died and two others were missing following the incident which happened at about 1400 GMT.
The leakage problem that existed for several days on the valve of a steam turbine should be the cause of the accident, reported local daily Gazet van Antwerpen.
Located in the port area of Antwerp, the refinery is the largest and most complex of the group, the third largest in Europe. It can transform every year 17 million tons of crude oil into fuels and raw materials for the petrochemical industry.
The refinery was "evacuated", its facilities were "stop" and there was "no impact on the environment," said Total.
The port area of Antwerp is a European center of petrochemicals, with the presence of refineries and tanks of Total, Shell, BASF and other giants of the industry.