At least 20 injured in Wisconsin oil refinery explosion

April 26 (UPI) — At least 20 people were injured in an explosion at a Wisconsin oil refinery on Thursday morning, local officials said.

The blast took place at around 10 a.m. at the Husky Energy refinery in Superior, Wis., and a representative for Essentia Health said 11 people were transported to hospitals in Superior and Duluth, Minn. Five more were taken to a Level 2 trauma center in Duluth.

Husky Energy said there were no fatalities in the blast and all patients were in stable condition.

Douglas County Emergency Management ordered everyone located 10 miles south of the refinery and within a 1-mile radius in all other directions to evacuate.

“We are continuing to evacuate. If you do not need to be out and about, please stay at home. The streets are overfilled and emergency vehicles are unable to move about as they need to. Thanks everyone for helping us with this,” Superior police wrote on Facebook.

The first blast ignited asphalt, sending black smoke billowing out of the refinery, and was followed by a series of seven or eight more explosions around noon.

Superior Police Chief Nick Alexander said the fires could burn for at least two days, and officials said firefighters were monitoring the fire and standing by for the appropriate opportunity to put it out safely.

“The refinery is a very involved business, it’s just not what’s burning but everything that’s around it,” Superior Fire Battalion Chief Scott Gordon said. “We want to make sure we’re doing it safely.”

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