Fire Out At Twin Ports Refinery

by Garry Watts April 29, 2018, 12:27
Fire Out At Twin Ports Refinery

Tens of thousands of people in the city of Superior were urged to leave their homes. The evacuation order remained in effect late on Thursday, the Superior Police Department said on Twitter.

Smoke rises from a fire at the Husky Oil Refinery on April 26, 2018 in Superior, Wisconsin.

In Duluth, St. Luke's Hospital was treating one person and did not expect to receive any more, spokeswoman Jessica Stauber said.

As a precautionary measure, local officials ordered all residents within a three-mile radius around the refinery to evacuate.

Nobody was killed in the initial blast or explosions that followed at the refinery south of town.

Friday classes were canceled in Superior and nearby Maple school districts.

The chemical can permanently damage the eyes, skin, nose, throat, respiratory system and bones, according to a 2013 report issued by the United Steelworkers union, which represents many refinery workers.

Firefighters tried to prevent flames from spreading by spraying water on nearby tanks, manager Kollin Schade said at a briefing.

"We found consistent low trace levels, well below any health standards, virtually everywhere that we went for volatile chemicals, particulates and dust — the kinds of things that can adhere to smoke", Morrison said. The non-regulatory federal agency investigates serious chemical accidents such as refinery fires. The resulting fire was extinguished after two hours but covered the surrounding area in noxious smoke, and local authorities only gave the all-clear for residents to return to their homes the following morning.

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Roads around the refinery have been blocked and employees evacuated, local media reported.

At the time of the explosion, crews were in the process of shutting down the refinery so that repairs could be made to the decades-old facility, WDIO said.

Stay with and 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS for updates.

"It felt like something had hit the house, like a vehicle or a branch from a tree". Authorities earlier said the fire was out, but it later reignited, sending up billowing clouds of thick, black smoke.

"It was scary", Tudor said.

Mattson gathered up her dogs, Molly and Kasey, at home and pointed her auto toward Duluth, Minn., usually a 10-minute drive. I put the cats in my auto ... we grabbed our toothbrushes and just left.

The EPA said it eventually shifted resources in the evening to monitor the community.

The Superior Fire Department has spent the last five years training with the refinery's emergency response team. Erin Roth, from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Petroleum Council, told KARE's John Croman it's a relatively small refinery, pushing 50,000 barrels per day of gasoline and diesel, plus a large quantity of asphalt.

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