In the Seveso-classified Saipol factory in Sète, a violent fire rages after an explosion. Seriously injured, an employee is in absolute emergency.

A Seveso “low threshold” factory in Sète suffered a major explosion late in the afternoon on Wednesday April 10. An explosion which was followed, a few minutes later, by a major fire. This risky industrial site, located in the industrial zone of the port of the Hérault city, released a thick black cloud. Several internet users filmed the incident before posting their videos on social media.

The Hérault prefecture confirmed the incident on social networks. “An explosion followed by a fire is in progress within the SAIPOL company, classified SEVESO low threshold,” she said on X (ex-Twitter). According to the prefecture, “the incident took place in the esterification warehouse (manufacture of fuel from seeds)”. The company specializes in the production of carbon-free energy and plant proteins.

The prefecture calls on local residents to “not go to the area”. A security perimeter was installed and a departmental crisis operational center was activated. “At this stage we regret an absolutely emergency injury, an employee of the company, being airlifted,” the authorities also specified in a press release. In total,  200 people were evacuated “as a preventive measure”.