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Wisconsin refinery fire out, authorities say no further danger

Posted: 11:23 AM, Apr 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-27 13:23:25-04

The Latest on an explosion and fire at a refinery in northwestern Wisconsin (all times local):

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.

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6:30 a.m.

Police say an evacuation order has been lifted for a northwest Wisconsin city where a refinery plant explosion injured at least 11 people and sent billowing plumes of black smoke into the air.

The Superior Police Department tweeted that the order had been lifted as of 6 a.m. Friday.

Superior Mayor Jim Paine says all indications are that the refinery site is safe and stable, and that the air quality is normal.

Authorities said late Thursday that the fire at the Husky Energy oil refinery was out, but that the evacuation for local residents remained. Superior has about 27,000 and shares a Lake Superior shipping port with nearby Duluth, Minnesota.

The evacuation order affected a 3-mile (5-kilometer) radius around the refinery, as well as a 10-mile (16-kilometer) corridor south of it where the smoke was heading.

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12:05 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.