Eight hurt in blast, blaze at German refinery: police

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Berlin (AFP)

A fire erupted Saturday at a refinery in southern Germany following an explosion, injuring at least eight people and forcing authorities to evacuate almost 2,000 local residents, police said.

The explosion took place at around 5:30 am (0330 GMT) in a site run by the Bayernoil group near the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt.

Three of the victims suffered "medium or serious injuries", police said in a statement.

Some 1,800 residents of the nearby towns of Vohburg and Irsching were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

"The work to extinguish the flames is continuing," the police said. Around 200 firefighters were at the scene.

Emergency services appealed to residents within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius to "keep their doors and windows closed because of the smoke."