The annual Major Incident Drill at BASF 

During BASF's annual major incident drill at the Ludwigshafen site, 100 emergency responders were on the ball today.

They deployed 24 vehicles and the turbo extinguisher trucks to rescue injured employees after a fire on a natural gas pipeline, carried out fire-fighting measures and protected surrounding buildings from overflowing flames. "In case of an emergency, our emergency responders must work very closely together. That is why the internal and external fire departments, emergency medical services, site security, environmental monitoring, employee care team and the affected plant regularly train the procedures and measures," said Michael Heinz, Member of BASF’s Board of Directors and Site Director. BASF's emergency medical services was supported by the large-capacity ambulance of the Ludwigshafen professional fire department.

The BASF site fire department in Ludwigshafen has over 180 employees. It is responsible for emergency response at the site as well as for central tasks within BASF's global emergency response organization. It also provides technical assistance in emergencies, advises other companies on fire safety issues and contributes its expertise to the "Transport Accident Information and Assistance System" (TUIS) of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI).

With this major incident drill, BASF is training for emergencies at its Ludwigshafen site and demonstrating in this way:


  • How the emergency medical services, the site security, the environmental monitoring, the employee care team and the fire department work togehter.
  • How the fire department carries out fire-fighting measures and human rescue.
  • How the site ensures the care of a large number of injured people.
  • How the supervisory authorities are provided with information in the case of an incident.
  • How the press and neighbours around the site are informed.
  • How operational know-how is used for emergency response. 
Emergency Responders at the major incident drill 2019.

  1.  Leakage of a natural gas supply system

    Detection by a gas detector


2.  Deflagration of the flammable gas/air mixture

     Follow-up fire due to heating gas (methane) continuing to escape


3.  Several persons injured by flying debris and heat radiation

  • The wind blows from southeast direction
  • Surrounding production plants continue to produce 
  • Jackhammer are worn without mask/lung automat and medium pressure line
  • A hose depot and a water withdrawal have been set up so that the fire-fighting vehicles are ready for possible real-life operations
  • The turbo extinguisher is only used for a short time for noise protection reasons

  • Fire brigade 1- South: incident commander and 18 responders
  • Fire brigade 2 - North: incident commander and 18 responders 
  • Emergency response control center: supervision and 2-3 dispatchers 
  • Total: approx. 18 emergency vehicles of the fire department
  • Command and control service: A service, B service, TE measuring station, technical deployment control vehicle, representative of the Steering Committee for Emergency Response
  • In total: with all participants approx. 100 responders and approx. 24 emergency vehicles





  • Implementation of cooling measures using turbo extinguishers
  • Installation of a bolt position between natural gas station and equipment framework with stationary and mobile water cannons    
  • Searching for injured persons and handing them over to the emergency medical service 
  • Rescue of persons not able to walk by means of telescopic mast
  • Push off the gas supply by means of heat protection
  • Establishment of the control unit with the command vehicle
  • Instruct the first responders from the surrounding block fields


First impressions of the major incident drill 2019:

Further information and videos about the major incident drill 2019 can be found on the following pages: