A massive explosion has rocked a chemical waste facility near Bremen in northwestern Germany, polic say.

Police told the DPA news agency that one person was severely burned in the blast on Tuesday night and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area. 

The injured man was found in the rubble and several local residents were slightly injured, police and firefighters said.

The blast, which occured around 1900 GMT in Ritterhude, could be heard for miles and sparked an intense fire.

Officials did not evacuate nearby residential buildings after the explosion, said police spokesman Marcus Neumann in the district of Osterholz.

The residents in the street directly beside the burning chemical plant were advised to leave their homes for the night voluntarily as a precaution.

One person working for the company called "Organo Fluid" was missing, and another person was seriously injured with third-degree burns, the spokesman said.

"The injured person might be the missing employee, but at this point there is no final confirmation for that," Neumann
said.

The spokesman did not say if the explosion and the smoke might pose any health risk to the residents living nearby.

Local media reported the firefighters did not discover any dangerous vapors in the air around the burning plant.

Source: Agencies