SUPERIOR, Wis. – After a morning explosion and fire, the flames have reignited at the Husky Energy oil refinery in northwestern Wisconsin.
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Explosion rocks Wisconsin refinery, at least 11 hurt
A tank containing crude oil or asphalt exploded at a large refinery in Wisconsin on Thursday, injuring several people and prompting fire officials to urge people living near the still-burning plant to evacuate their homes.
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.
The explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery happened at about 10 a.m., Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger told The Associated Press.
Panger said the fire was out by 11:20 a.m., although smoke could still be seen rising from the plant. Superior police later tweeted that the fire had reignited and urged residents living within a one-mile radius of the refinery to leave. 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.
Essentia Health spokeswoman Maureen Talarico said five people injured in the explosion are being treated at St. Mary’s Medical Center, a Level II trauma center in Duluth. She said emergency room physicians described those patients as awake and alert. Another five are being treated at St. Mary’s Hospital in Superior, Talarico said. She said the extent of injuries is unknown.
Evacuation area widens to north of Husky Energy
Authorities have expanded the evacuation zone around a Wisconsin refinery that was rocked by an explosion and are now saying anyone within a three-mile (five-kilometer) radius should leave.
Douglas County authorities also say those in a 10-mile (16-kilometer) corridor south of the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior should leave due to smoke coming from the site.
Evacuees are being told to gather at Yellowjacket Union at the University of Wisconsin-Superior or at Four Corners Elementary School in Superior.
It isn’t clear how many people the evacuation order will effect. The refinery is in an industrial area, but there’s a residential neighborhood within a mile to the northeast. The corridor downwind to the south is sparsely populated.