Investigators work to determine cause of blast at Wisconsin refinery

29 April, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • UPDATE: At least 20 injured in oil refinery explosion

At least one local hospital shut its emergency room and transferred patients to its Duluth location, as an investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board was sent to the scene to begin probing the explosions and fire at Huskey Energy around 10 a.m.

At least 10 people were taken to area hospitals, one of whom was seriously injured, said a spokeswoman for Essentia Health-St.

Crews were able to extinguish the original fire just under 90 minutes after it was reported at 10:06 a.m., but a second fire erupted again shortly after noon in another asphalt tank that firefighters said was increasingly hard to put out.

Authorities say a smoky refinery fire that forced many residents of Superior, Wisconsin, to evacuate is out.

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An explosion rocked the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior on Thursday morning.

Later Thursday, a massive plume of smoke began billowing from the refinery. Freighter fans today were posting pictures to social media of large ships being loaded with cargo while the refinery fire burned in the background.

Authorities said they have no timeline yet for getting the fire extinguished.

Superior Mayor Jim Paine says the city of Superior was in a state of Emergency Thursday.

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Federal chemical safety investigators planned to visit the site. Authorities were weighing what to do about asphalt burning at the plant, said Scott Gordon, a battalion chief with the Superior Fire Department during an afternoon press conference. Superior officials said they did not know when people would be allowed to return to their homes. But she said it's clear people shouldn't be breathing it in and she wonders how it will affect the water and air quality. She said the extent of injuries is unknown. Others were walking wounded, Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger told the Associated Press. She did not have a condition for that person.

A contractor who was inside the building told WDIO-TV that the explosion sounded like "a sonic boom". Police blocked roads around the refinery in Superior, which is home to about 27,000 people and borders Minnesota to the north and the tip of Lake Superior. The plant produces gasoline and asphalt.

Husky purchased the refinery last year from Calumet last year. The Superior Fire Department later updated that number to five.

Several people have been injured in an explosion at a refinery in Wisconsin.

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The refinery, which dates back to the early 1950s, has a processing capacity of around 50,000 barrels per day and a storage capacity of 3.6 million barrels of crude and products.



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