Investigators work to determine cause of blast at Wisconsin refinery

29 April, 2018, 13:28 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • UPDATE: At least 20 injured in oil refinery explosion

By late Thursday, the smoky fire was out at Wisconsin's only refinery, but residents around the plant who had been evacuated during the day were not expected to be let back to their homes until very late this evening, the Associated Press said.

There were no reported deaths, but at least 11 people were injured, including one who was seriously hurt.

ImagThe cause of the blasts are not yet known.

Police reported on Twitter that the emergency management department in Douglas County, where Superior is located, has issued an order of evacuation.

A fire at the refinery reignited during the noon hour, but fire crews were able to get it under control.

Superior Fire Battalion Chief Scott Gordon says the department is waiting for reinforcements.

Panger says the fire was out by 11:20 a.m. Husky Energy says all workers are accounted for. There are injuries, which are being treated at a hospital and on site.

Essentia Health spokesperson Maureen Talarico said five patients were being treated at St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth.

Superior School Officials said students were evacuated.

John Anderson, an employee of Stadium Towing, which had workers near the site of the explosion, told AFP that emergency crews were clearing the scene.


Officials at Enbridge Energy, which owns a massive oil pipeline terminal and storage facility with millions of gallons of petroleum products stored near the refinery, said their facility was not impacted.

Fire Chief Steve Panger said local authorities were still working with federal agencies to determine the cause of the explosion.

Mathews said most or all of his fellow contractors were on break, in blast-proof shelters at the scene, when the explosion occurred. It produces asphalt, gasoline, diesel and heavy fuel oils, largely using heavy crude oil imported from Canada.

"The really lucky part is that it happened during our break so all of our people were in blast shacks", Mathews said.

No damage estimate was available.

Husky purchased the refinery last year from Calumet last year.

The refinery processes crude oil from the Canadian and North Dakota fields.

Husky Energy bought the 50,000-barrel-per-day Superior Refinery past year for about $496 million from Calumet Specialty Products Partners. Product is believe to be crude or asphalt.

Kolobov lives just a mile from the refinery.

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