Two dead after explosion at oilseed plant in northern France

In mid-February 2018, two maintenance workers died in a fire following an explosion at Saipol’s vegetable oil refinery in Dieppe, northern France. Saipol is the oilseed branch of French farmer-owned group Avril, which is the largest biodiesel producer in Europe. It is also the leading manufacturer of table oil in France, known for its brands including Lesieur and Pouget.

According to initial reports, around 11 other employees were slightly injured, most of them suffering from shock. Output was immediately halted at the factory, which employs 40 people in total, and it was unclear when production would resume. An investigation has been launched into the cause of the accident, which happened during a maintenance operation on one of the oil tanks.

In June 2017, Saipol was also forced to halt output at one of its biggest crushing units in northern France after a fire affected the electricity supply system.