Wisconsin city evacuated after Husky Energy refinery fire
In all, 21 people sought hospital care as a result of the fire, and all but one has been released. The person was listed in good condition. The weather service said winds were expected to weaken Thursday evening and eventually shift toward Lake Superior.
Kollin Schade, refinery manager for Husky, told reporters that the facility was preparing for a May shutdown for servicing and inspection at the time of the explosion and that most of the fire and smoke was from asphalt burning.
"All indications are that the refinery site is safe and stable and the air quality is clean and normal", Superior Mayor Jim Paine wrote in a 5:38 a.m.
Paine said the site was under control and although trace levels of chemicals and dust were detected during air quality monitoring, authorities said they weren't enough to endanger the public. But then authorities announced the evacuation order would remain and be re-evaluated throughout the night. But they felt confident based on data they had gathered overnight, to support the evacuation order being lifted.
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".
An evacuation order remains in Superior, WI following a fire at the Husky Energy refinery caused by an explosion at the plant on Thursday. She says golfers were out on the course when the explosion occurred at 10:05 a.m. We have seen it activated in the past during natural disasters and terror attacks. There is no danger to the public or local residents at this time.
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"Once we understood the full response plan, yes, I think it was our responsibility", he said, adding that he and his team meant to publicly lay out the potentially risky situation at a 7 p.m. press conference Thursday.
The fire had poured thick clouds of noxious black smoke into the air after the explosion rocked the refinery. If you were here, you saw the gridlock throughout the city of Superior. "We needed that process to happen as smoothly as possible while we prepared for any eventuality at all".
The fire was contained Thursday at 6:42 p.m.
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.
Husky Energy is working closely with federal agencies to understand the cause of the explosion.
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