1 Dead, 18 Hurt in Austria Plant Blast

1 Dead, 18 Hurt in Austria Plant Blast

BERLIN (AP) -- An explosion on Tuesday at a major natural gas facility near Austria's border with Slovakia left one person dead, authorities said.

A further 18 people were injured in the morning blast at the plant in Baumgarten an der March, east of Vienna, regional Red Cross official Sonja Kellner said. Two medical helicopters were sent to the scene, the Austria Press Agency reported.

The explosion set off a fire, which operator Gas Connect said was contained by midmorning. The facility was shut down, Gas Connect spokesman Armin Teichert said.

Police wrote on Twitter that the situation "is under control."

They said that the explosion was triggered by a "technical cause," but didn't elaborate and said that local authorities are investigating.

Gas Connect describes the Baumgarten plant, where pipelines connect and gas from Russia, Norway and other countries is compressed, as "one of the most significant hubs for European gas supplies."

(KA)