A large explosion and fire broke out Monday at Canada’s largest oil refinery, but the company operating the plant in Saint John, New Brunswick, said all of its workers escaped without any life-threatening injuries.
Irving Oil Ltd., which owns and operates the 320,000-barrel-a-day refinery, reported the “major incident” Monday morning, while local media said witnesses reported a “bed-shaking explosion” followed by a large fire. Video images of the scene showed flames several stories high shooting up from the plant, along with tall plumes of white and black smoke.
This happening right now, massive explosion and fire at Irving oil refinery. pic.twitter.com/tucyb5K65S
— Ian Hutchison (@saintjohn601) October 8, 2018
— Graeme Benjamin (@GlobalGraeme) October 8, 2018
“We now understand that all employees and contractors working on site have been safely accounted for,” Irving said on Twitter, noting the incident remains an “active situation.” The company said several contract workers were injured during the incident, but said the injuries were “non-life-threatening.”
The mayor of the city of Saint John, Don Darling, said on a Facebook video that the entire refinery has been shut down, and said the flames seen were “basically burn-off.” He added that no evacuations were ordered, but asked citizens to remain in their homes until an all-clear is given. “Thank God for no one being killed in an event like this,” Darling said.
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