Published: Sun, April 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Explosion rocks Superior, WI refinery, injuries reported

Explosion rocks Superior, WI refinery, injuries reported

Husky Energy's refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, caught fire, injuring 15.

It was unclear how many people were being evacuated, but Superior Mayor Jim Paine said most of the city was being evacuated. One suffered a serious blast injury.

The Superior School District sent a message to parents saying "at this time, there is no reason to evacuate any of the school buildings". All of the refinery's workers were accounted for, Husky said. They were being treated at hospitals in Superior and nearby Duluth, Minnesota. There were no reported fatalities.

Firefighters are not able to attack the active fire because it's burning too hot, Superior Fire Battalion Chief Scott Gordon said.

Husky Energy refinery manager Kollin Schade said Friday that two others, an employee and a contractor, were hospitalized overnight but were expected to be released soon.

The refinery had additional workers on site preparing for a plant-wide overhaul when the blast occurred, he said.

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"Our deepest thanks to the emergency responders and members of the community who stepped forward with assistance". Others were treated on site.

"You can still smell a real caustic smell in the air", said Sara Haugen, owner of Pudge's Bar in Superior, located about 217 kilometres from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tudor, a scientist at a research company, said residents haven't been told much about the potential danger, what is in the smoke or why it is so black. KSTP is working to get more details on this story and will post updates as more information becomes available.

The product involved in the explosion and fire is believed to be crude oil or asphalt. There is a report of multiple injuries.

Some initial reports claimed there are "at least 20 casualties", but that number has not been confirmed. Multiple agencies have responded. "The team that really managed this crisis had prepared for this for a long time and when the crisis came, they acted with a cool head, they acted with sound judgment and in many cases, downright courage".

An explosion rocked the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior on Thursday morning. Fire reported to be out. It had two asphalt terminals, two product terminals, a marine terminal, 3.6 million barrels of crude and product storage, and a fuels and asphalt marketing business. Chief Panger says walking wounded on location as well. The event, which has come to be known as "Toxic Tuesday" among many locals, forced the evacuation of almost 30,000 people from the city.

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