An explosion and asphalt fire at a Wisconsin oil refinery sent huge plumes of smoke into the air that pollution experts said nearly certainly contained large amounts of toxins, posing a serious health risk to those living downwind. The area is still hot.
Panger said a small tank containing either crude oil or asphalt exploded in the refinery.
In all, 21 people sought hospital care as a result of the fire, and all but one has been released, the News Tribune reported. No fatalities were reported, and the remaining patient was listed in "good condition".
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Superior refinery had been fined by federal authorities three years ago, when it was still owned by Calumet Specialty Products Partners, which Husky Energy bought it from in 2017 for US$490 million.
Firefighters from the city of Superior said cooperation with Husky Energy crews and training helped them deal with the risky situation on Thursday.
On Saturday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported that air quality in the area was "improving". "The main concern is evacuating residents in the area in a safe and timely manner", said Superior Mayor Jim Paine.
The EPA's air monitoring program hasn't turned up anything more than trace amounts of toxic chemicals, the EPA's Morrison said.
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We have always acknowledged that it is regrettable that the Red Sox were the last Major League baseball team to integrate. On Thursday, going to a Red Sox game got a little less insulting.
"We don't want to miss something".
An official with the EPA said they are keeping a close eye on the air quality, to determine if air pollution levels rise at all.
"While yesterday was a very scary day, it had the potential to be absolutely catastrophic".
The refinery explosion and massive asphalt fire that injured 13 people and caused entire neighborhoods to flee this Lake Superior city lasted less than a day thanks to thousands of gallons of specialized foam, trained firefighters equipped with the right gear and a fire suppression system that showered portions of the refinery in water. "When this crisis happened, they kept a cool head; they acted with sound judgment and in many cases downright courage". Authorities earlier said the fire was out, but it later reignited, sending up billowing clouds of thick, black smoke. She says golfers were out on the course when the explosion occurred at 10:05 a.m. "In one of the largest disasters our community has ever seen, everybody's going home at the end of the day".
Specialists from Williams Fire & Hazard Control of Port Arthur, Texas were hired by Husky Energy and were flying to the scene on Thursday to direct efforts to battle the blaze.
Pollution experts say the chemicals released in the explosion can linger long after the fire is extinguished.