Big Explosion at Wisconsin Refinery, Casualties Reported

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
April 26, 2018US News
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Big Explosion at Wisconsin Refinery, Casualties Reported
White smoke rises from a rupture in the tank just behind the smokestack following an explosion at Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, on April 26, 2018. (REUTERS/Robert King/Duluth News Tribune)

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An explosion rocked a refinery in Wisconsin, leaving more than a dozen people injured.

A fire official told WSMV-TV that the blast took place at Husky Energy oil refinery at around 10 a.m. local time.

At least 20 people were injured, the Superior Fire Department said, KDLH-TV reported. At least five people were transported to hospitals in Duluth, Minnesota.

Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger told The Associated Press that he wasn’t sure of the extent of the injuries.

There were no known deaths.

Four people were being treated at nearby Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center and a fifth was on the way, said a hospital spokeswoman. She described their injuries as varied, but said she could not offer further details, Reuters reported.

“The whole building shook. The lights flickered three times and the whole building shook,” Jim Ronning, owner of Hudy’s Tavern in Superior, located about a mile from the facility.

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Thicker-than-usual black smoke pours from the a gas burn-off smokestack as white smoke rises from the rupture in the tank just behind the smokestack following an explosion at Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, U.S., April 26, 2018. (REUTERS/Robert King/Duluth News Tribune)

A contractor said that the explosion sounded like a “sonic boom,” and it happened as crews were shutting the plant down for repairs, WSMV quoted him as saying.

A fire was also reported at the refinery, but it was put out at 11:20 a.m. local time. Panger confirmed that a tank exploded, saying it was either oil or asphalt.

Police in Superior have urged locals to stay away from the area. Roads around the refinery were closed off, but there have been no neighborhood evacuations.

The company was responding to an incident at the refinery and emergency crews were on site, Husky spokesman Mel Duvall said, adding, “We are aware an individual has been transported to the hospital,” according to Reuters.

“It shook our store. Everyone was wondering what was going on. You could see the lights flickered, it knocked out one of our computers, it shook the ceiling,” said Tammie Carroll, an employee at Super One Foods, located nearby, was quoted by Reuters saying.

The refinery, the only one in Wisconsin, has approximately 180 employees.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

 

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