Refinery explosion in Superior, Wis., injures at least 20

Refinery explosion in Superior, Wis., injures at least 20

At Least 20 Injured in Reported Explosion at Superior Refinery

Authorities are ordering residents to evacuate their homes near a Wisconsin refinery that was rocked by an explosion. "There's a big black plume of smoke coming out". More black smoke shot into the sky and police gave evacuation orders at 1 p.m. for homes and businesses. Smoke continues to travel south.

"There are hazards at the refinery, not only with the asphalt but other constituents that we need to take particular precautions around", he said. The university had also canceled Thursday night and Friday classes, and extracurricular activities.

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) - Several people have been injured in an explosion at a refinery in Wisconsin.

Talarico says another five are being treated at St. Mary's Hospital in Superior, Wisconsin, where the explosion happened.

Five victims were taken to St. Mary's Medical Center, a Level 2 trauma center in Duluth. Emergency officials later said another tank had caught fire, too, although they didn't specify what was in it. A spokeswoman for Essentia Health says one person was seriously injured, while another nine being treated at Essentia hospitals in Superior and nearby Duluth, Minnesota, have non-life-threatening injuries. She says the extent of injuries is unknown.

KARE 11's Lou Raguse said he's being told at least one of those injuries is serious. Walking wounded still be accounted for. There have been no fatalities.

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

Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger says the initial fire was out by 11:20 a.m.

"The evacuation zones were set up based on what could happen, worst case scenario", Gordon said, adding he would not comment at this point on what could be emitted through the air.

Executive director Chelly Townsend says people were trickling in to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center after doors opened late Thursday afternoon. Cots and food are being provided by Red Cross Northland. But Superior Mayor Jim Paine said he was anxious about the smoke, which is why the evacuation was ordered for such a large area.

People near the Superior plant Thursday morning reported feeling an explosion as far as a mile away from the site, according to the Bemidji Pioneer.

According to a Facebook post from the Superior Police Department, there was an explosion at the Husky Refinery at around 10:06 a.m.

Allie Fuller works at the Nemadji Golf Course, which is just one mile south of the Husky Refinery.

"It felt like something had hit the house, like a vehicle or a branch from a tree". She said the windows shook. It's Wisconsin's only refinery, and it produces gasoline, asphalt and other products. That fuel is sold throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, so there could be supply impacts. He said the refinery is now undergoing a $30 million expansion project.

"Husky Energy is responding to a fire at its Superior Refinery located in Superior, Wisconsin", the company said in a statement.

Electric crews from Hunt Electric were performing annual maintenance at the plant, so more workers than usual were on site.

"Our deepest thanks to the emergency responders and members of the community who stepped forward with assistance".

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