Authorities say fire out at Wisconsin refinery

Authorities say fire out at Wisconsin refinery

Authorities said a tank of crude oil or asphalt exploded at the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior, a city of about 27,000 that borders Minnesota and the westernmost tip of Lake Superior.

No fatalities have been reported, but at least 11 people were being treated at hospitals in Superior, where the blast happened, and nearby Duluth, Minnesota.

Douglas County Emergency Management asked residents living within 10 miles south of the refinery, 2 miles to the north and 3 miles to the east or west of the refinery, to evacuate as thick black smoke continued to billow into the air.

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

A spokesperson for Essentia Health said 11 people were transported to hospitals in Duluth and Superior.

Authorities now say an evacuation order for residents of Superior, Wisconsin, after a smoky refinery fire will stay in place and be re-evaluated throughout the night.

"The fire is out", said Superior Fire Battalion Chief Scott Gordon, shortly before 7 p.m. All of the refinery's workers were accounted for, Husky said. There are injuries, which are being treated at a hospital and on site.

Superior school officials said public school students in the city were evacuated to Amsoil headquarters in Superior where parents waited in traffic jams to pick up their children.

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Of those five in Duluth, one person suffered a serious blast injury and the others had minor injuries.

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

Wisconsin oil refinery explosion.

Police blocked roads around the refinery.

Panger added the explosion was reportedly from a small tank explosion, and the product is believed to be crude or asphalt. Local air quality is being monitored. 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.

He said there were two projects going on at the Husky Refinery, yearly maintenance and what he calls a "flexibility" project.

No damage estimate was available.

It is owned by the Canadian firm Husky Energy, which purchased the refinery past year. It's Wisconsin's only refinery, and produces gasoline, asphalt and other products. "If you are within a one-mile radius of the refinery, 10 miles to the south, please evacuate now".

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