Firefighters spray water at a refinery after a fire broke out following an explosion in Vohburg near Ingolstadt, Germany. Image Credit: Reuters

Berlin: 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 5.30am (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-kilometre radius to “keep their doors and windows closed because of the smoke.”