The Latest: Small hospital, schools evacuated near refinery

The Latest: Small hospital, schools evacuated near refinery
The Associated Press

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on a Wisconsin refinery explosion that injured several people (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

A small hospital near the site of a refinery explosion in Superior, Wisconsin, is being evacuated as a precaution.

Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Hospital-Superior was among institutions in an expanded evacuation zone after a Thursday morning explosion at Husky Energy oil refinery that injured 11 people, one seriously. Three schools in Superior were also being evacuated.

Hospital spokeswoman Maureen Talarico says the hospital had only 12 patients. They were being moved to other hospitals.

The evacuation area was for anyone within three miles around the refinery, plus a 10-mile corridor to the south.

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12:55 p.m.

The number of people injured in a refinery explosion in Wisconsin has grown to at least 11.

Essentia Health spokeswoman Maureen Talarico says five patients are being treated at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, Minnesota. She says emergency room physicians describe those patients as awake and alert.

Talarico says another five are being treated at St. Mary’s Hospital in Superior, Wisconsin, where the explosion happened. She says the extent of injuries is unknown.

In Duluth, spokeswoman Jessica Stauber says St. Luke’s Hospital is treating one person. She doesn’t know the condition of that person.

The explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery happened Thursday morning. Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger has said there are no known fatalities.

Panger earlier said the fire was out, but Superior police tweeted that the fire has reignited but that there is no need for residents to evacuate.

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12:10 p.m.

Authorities now say five people have been taken to hospitals after an explosion rocked a large refinery in Wisconsin.

Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger initially told The Associated Press that six were taken to hospitals in nearby Duluth, Minnesota, after the explosion Thursday at the Husky Energy oil refinery. The Superior Fire Department later updated that number to five.

The fire chief says there are no known fatalities. Authorities don’t know the extent of injuries. The fire is out.

A contractor who was inside the building told WDIO television that the explosion sounded like “a sonic boom” and that it happened when crews were working on shutting the plant down for repairs.

Owned by Alberta-based Husky Energy, Wisconsin’s only refinery produces gasoline, asphalt and other products.

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11:30 a.m.

Several people have been injured in an explosion at a refinery in Wisconsin.

Authorities in Superior say the explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery happened at about 10 a.m. Thursday. Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger says six people were taken to hospitals in Duluth, Minnesota. He doesn’t know the extent of their injuries. Others were walking wounded. There are no known fatalities.

A contractor who was inside the building told WDIO television that the explosion sounded like “a sonic boom” that happened when crews were working on shutting the plant down for repairs.

Panger says the fire was out by 11:20 a.m.

Superior police are advising people to stay away from the area and roads around the refinery have been blocked off. There have been no neighborhood evacuations.

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