Superior, WI – At least 20 people were injured in an explosion at the Husky Energy Oil Refinery soon after 10 am ET Thursday morning. Authorities say multiple agencies were responding, including Superior fire, police and Gold Cross units.
Witnesses said they saw at least seven ambulances enter the facility and several already have left, with helicopters also on standby. Passersby and people nearby said they felt an explosion rock buildings up to a mile away.
Employees of the refinery and contractors were evacuating and staging on Hill Avenue which was blocked off to traffic.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, about 180 people are employed at Wisconsin’s sole refinery, which provides the Northland with gasoline, asphalt and other specialty petroleum products. About 50,000 barrels of oil per day can be processed at the refinery, located at 2407 Stinson Ave.
Along with the refinery, Husky took control of two asphalt terminals and two product terminals, a marine terminal, 3.6 million barrels in storage and a marketing business.
The Superior refinery was built in 1950, acquired by Murphy Oil in 1958 and sold to Indianapolis-based Calumet for $475 million in 2011. In 2015, when Calumet Superior LLC owned the refinery, OSHA fined the company $21,000 over emergency response and flammable liquids violations. OSHA records show the violations were marked as settled and the problems were solved by the end of that year.