German chemical giant BASF said Tuesday that one person remains missing after an explosion at one of its plants killed two people and injured dozens of others the day before.

Rescue workers managed to douse the flames in a river harbour at the company's Ludwigshafen headquarters and were searching for the missing person, a BASF official confirmed to dpa.

Authorities are working from the assumption that the missing person is in the harbour but have not yet been able to send divers to search the waters, Peter Friedrich, head of the Ludwigshafen fire brigade told a press conference.

Two people had been reported missing earlier in the day.

The substances that burned in the fire included ethylene, used in insulating materials and solvents, and propylene, used in a wide range of plastic materials and automotive parts, a spokeswoman for the company said earlier Tuesday.

BASF officials have not commented on the health implications of the chemicals released into the atmosphere but have advised residents living near the plant to keep their windows and doors shut.

Two members of BASF's fire service were killed in the fire and eight others were seriously injured. Some of those injured are still in life-threatening condition, fire brigade official Dieter Feid said.

Seventeen people who received medical attention at the scene have been sent home, the company said.

The reason for the accident has yet to be determined. The prosecutor's office in Frankenthal confirmed Tuesday that it is investigating the incident.

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