UPDATED: Oct. 18, 8:18 a.m. EDT — Two people were killed in an explosion at a sprawling chemical plant in Germany Monday morning, the company announced Tuesday. At least two people were missing as of Tuesday morning from the blast at BASF SE headquarters in the city of Ludwigshafen, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The international chemical company's future is cloudy after the explosion that injured 17 other people. The manufacturing plant and its surrounding facilities have all but ceased operations, Bloomberg reported. "The full impact is so far hard to quantify," investment bank analyst Markus Mayer told Bloomberg.

The explosion, which sent plumes of heavy black smoke soaring into the air and could be heard and seen for miles, was caused by a fire on a supply line. That fire led to multiple, smaller explosions, resulting in the final, larger blast.

 

Original story:

An explosion at a chemical company's factory in Germany left at least one person dead in addition to injuring several people late Monday morning local time, according to multiple reports. But a number of others were also missing and unaccounted for.

The cause of the blast at BASF headquarters in Ludwigshafen was not immediately determined, Deutsche Wells reported.

"There was an explosion with several people injured for as-yet undetermined reasons at around 11:30 (0930 GMT) at BASF Ludwigshafen," BASF said in a statement.

There was no any information immediately available about the person who died, but the explosion may have been a result of work on a pipeline route according to local news outlet Suddeutsche Zeitung. The blast took place along a nearby harbor used for flammable liquids and liquefied gas, the Associated Press reported.

At least seven people were still missing and at least four people were injured.

BASF, which describes itself as "the world’s leading chemical company," has locations all over the world, including throughout the United States. However, aside from the brief statement it issued earlier Monday, its only other public comment following the explosion was a single tweet saying in part that the blast "resulted in fires."

Residents in Ludwigshafen and the surrounding communities were advised to stay indoors as plums of black smoke continued to emanate from the site of the explosion.

Photos and video footage from the explosion surfaced on social media, providing a glimpse into the extent of the blast's damage. Smoke and fire could be seen for miles rising high into the air.

The chemical company was on the heels of some very good news before Monday morning's explosion. Last week, BASF reported a quarterly profit that exceeded its expectations, according to Bloomberg. It raked in 7 percent more than the 1.28 billion euros projected by analysts, the company announced last Tuesday.