World News

Avril says two dead after explosion at oilseed plant in northern France

PARIS (Reuters) - Two people died after an explosion at an oilseed factory in northern France belonging to Saipol, the oilseed branch of French farmer-owned group Avril, the company said on Saturday.

Avril is the largest biodiesel producer in Europe and largest table oil producer in France with brands including Lesieur and Pouget.

A spokesman for the company said there was an explosion followed by fire at the Saipol factory in the town of Dieppe around 1000 GMT. One person was slightly injured and seven others were in a state of shock.

The factory, which produces raw oil that is later transformed into other products such as biodiesel in other plants, employs 40 people.

The company said the causes of the accident remained unclear and that it was too early to say when then output would resume.

In June last year, Saipol halted output at one of its biggest crushing units in northern France after a fire hit theelectricity supply system.

Reporting by Sybille de la Hamaide and Elizabeth Pineau; Writing Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Hugh Lawson