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UPDATE: 13 now injured in Superior oil refinery explosion

Updated: 1:05 p.m. April 27, 2018:

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) — Officials now say at least 13 people were injured in an oil refinery explosion in the northwestern Wisconsin city of Superior.

Husky Energy refinery manager Kollin Schade said at a news conference Friday that six injured workers were taken to hospitals and seven others were treated at the scene of the Thursday fire.

He says an employee and a contractor were hospitalized overnight but are expected to be released Friday.

Essentia Health says its hospitals and care facilities in the area cared for 16 patients as a result of the incident. A man who suffered a blast injury was upgraded to good condition. Some others were treated and released for minor, evacuation-related injuries.

The evacuation order was lifted at 6 a.m. Friday in Superior, a city of about 27,000 residents near Duluth, Minnesota.

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11:10 a.m.

Authorities say they believe there's no further danger to the public following an oil refinery explosion in northwestern Wisconsin that injured at least 11 people and sent billowing plumes of black smoke into the air.

Superior Mayor Jim Paine said during a news conference Friday that his community is getting back to normal. Paine lifted an evacuation order for the city earlier Friday morning.

However, Fire Chief Steve Panger says the immediate area of Thursday's fire at the Husky Energy refinery remains extremely hot. He says fire crews are still mopping up after the blaze.

Authorities said late Thursday that the fire was out, but an evacuation order remained overnight in Superior. The city has about 27,000 residents and shares a Lake Superior shipping port with nearby Duluth, Minnesota.

Panger says local authorities are working with federal agencies to determine the cause of the explosion and how to make improvements.1:05 p.m.

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

6:03 a.m.

The mayor of Superior lifted the evacuation order at 6 a.m. on Friday.

In a Facebook post, Mayor Jim Paine said the refinery site is safe and stable and the air quality is clean and normal.

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5:11 a.m.

Residents are still not in their homes after a smoky refinery fire forced most of their northwestern Wisconsin community to evacuate.

Authorities posted an update Thursday night saying the fire at the Husky Energy oil refinery was out, but an evacuation order for residents of Superior remained in place.

A blast at the refinery injured at least 11 people, one of them seriously. Authorities say there are no fatalities and all workers are accounted for. The fire was put out earlier Thursday but it reignited, sending up thick clouds of noxious black smoke that could be seen for miles.

A four-person team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board will investigate the blast. The board makes safety recommendations after serious chemical incidents. 

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7:35 p.m.

Authorities say a smoky refinery fire that forced many residents of Superior, Wisconsin, to evacuate is out.

Douglas County officials posted an update Thursday evening saying the fire is extinguished but asking residents in the evacuation area to stay away from their homes for at least another two hours.

An explosion rocked the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior on Thursday morning. Authorities earlier said the fire was out, but it later reignited, sending up billowing clouds of thick, black smoke.

It was unclear how many people were being evacuated, but Superior Mayor Jim Paine said most of the city was being evacuated.

At least 11 people were hurt. Hospital officials said only one of the injured was seriously hurt, with what was described as a blast injury. No deaths were reported, and officials said all workers had been accounted for.

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6:30 p.m.

A convention center in Minnesota has opened to accept people forced from their homes by a smoky fire at a nearby Wisconsin oil refinery.

Executive director Chelly Townsend says people were trickling in to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center after doors opened late Thursday afternoon.

Townsend says the center could comfortably handle 5,000 people, but could shelter up to 7,000 if needed.

Superior Mayor Jim Paine says most of the northwestern Wisconsin city is being evacuated as black clouds billow from the Husky Energy oil refinery. At least 11 people were hurt in an explosion at the refinery Thursday morning, one seriously.

Schools in Superior and nearby Maple, Wisconsin, have called off classes Friday.

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5:55 p.m.

Federal investigators are headed to a Wisconsin refinery hit by an explosion and fire.

Burning asphalt at the Husky Energy refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, has prompted the evacuation of much of the town of about 27,000. Local officials say the evacuations are a precaution as a plume of noxious black smoke drifts southward from the plant.

A four-person team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board will investigate. The board makes safety recommendations after serious chemical incidents.

At least 11 people were hurt in Thursday's explosion, one seriously.

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Updated: 4:22 p.m. April 26, 2018

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say firefighters can't get close enough to battle a smoky blaze at a Wisconsin refinery where an explosion injured at least 11 people.

The Thursday morning explosion and fire at the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior was still burning hours later and forced the evacuation of homes, schools and a hospital.

The fire has sent a huge noxious plume into the air and authorities have ordered the evacuation of a 10-mile (16-kilometer) corridor south of the refinery.

Refinery manager Kollin Schade says the thick, black smoke is from asphalt burning.

The evacuation order will remain in place until further notice. One of the 11 injured people was seriously hurt.Authorities say firefighters can't get close enough to battle a smoky blaze at a Wisconsin refinery where an explosion injured at least 11 people.

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Updated: 3:27 p.m. April 26, 2018

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) --  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.A small hospital near the site of a refinery explosion in Superior, Wisconsin, is being evacuated as a precaution.

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Updated: 2:40 p.m.  April 26, 2018

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities have expanded the evacuation zone around a Wisconsin refinery that was rocked by an explosion and are now saying anyone within a three-mile (five-kilometer) radius should leave.

Douglas County authorities also say those in a 10-mile (16-kilometer) corridor south of the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior should leave due to smoke coming from the site.

Evacuees are being told to gather at Yellowjacket Union at the University of Wisconsin-Superior or at Four Corners Elementary School in Superior.

It isn't clear how many people the evacuation order will effect. The refinery is in an industrial area, but there's a residential neighborhood within a mile to the northeast. The corridor downwind to the south is sparsely populated.

At least 11 people were injured in the Thursday morning blast. A spokeswoman for Essentia Health says one person was seriously injured, while another nine being treated at Essentia hospitals in Superior and nearby Duluth, Minnesota, have non-life-threatening injuries.

St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth received one patient who is in fair condition.

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Updated: 1:10 p.m. April 26, 2018

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP/CBS 58) -- 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 and an evacuation order has been issued by Douglas County Emergency Management for anyone around the refinery. The evacuations are different depending on where you live but includes two miles to the north, three miles to the east and west and ten miles to the south of the refinery. Superior Police also posted on their Facebook page that some schools have also been evacuated as a precaution. 

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Updated: 11:42 a.m. April 26, 2018

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) — An explosion rocked a large refinery in Wisconsin Thursday, injuring several people, a fire official said.

The blast at the Husky Energy oil refinery happened at about 10 a.m. Five people were taken to hospitals in Duluth, Minnesota, Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger told The Associated Press. He doesn't know the extent of their injuries. Others were walking wounded. There were no known fatalities.

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.

Panger said the fire was out by 11:20 a.m. He said a small tank exploded, and the product was either crude oil or asphalt.

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. Superior is a city of about 27,000 people that borders Minnesota to the north and the tip of Lake Superior.

No damage estimate was available. The Superior Fire Department sent all three engine companies to the explosion, and nearby Duluth sent over a command vehicle.

Calgary-Alberta-based Husky Energy refinery bought the refinery from Indianapolis-based Calumet Specialty Products Partners last year for over $490 million. It's Wisconsin's only refinery, and produces gasoline, asphalt and other products.

The refinery, which dates back to the early 1950s, has a professing capacity of around 50,000 barrels per day and a storage capacity of 3.6 million barrels of crude and products. It processes both heavy crude from the Canadian tar sands in Alberta and lighter North Dakota Bakken crude. 

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Posted: 11:27 a.m. April 26, 2018

SUPERIOR, Wis. (CBS 3) -- An explosion with multiple injuries was reported at the Calumet Oil Refinery in Superior Thursday morning, according to the Superior Fire Department. 

According to the Superior Fire Department, there are at least 20 injured. Smoke was seen billowing from the refinery just after 10 a.m. Multiple crews were called in to assist in the response. Neighbors on Facebook reported the explosion shook their homes.

Duluth Hospitals are preparing to treat victims of the explosion.

St. Luke's spokespeople issued the following statement: 

"St. Luke's has set up an incident command center and we are fully prepared to receive patients from the explosion at the refinery in Superior. We will continue to keep you informed as the situation evolves."
   

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