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Husky Energy Refinery Blast in Wisconsin Results in Injuries


Douglas County authorities ordered an evacuation around the refinery Thursday afternoon.
Douglas County authorities ordered an evacuation around the refinery Thursday afternoon.
Photo:

Robert King/Duluth News Tribune/Reuters

An explosion and fire at a Wisconsin refinery owned by

Husky Energy Inc.
HUSKF -9.53%

injured roughly 20 people Thursday, according to a local fire official.

First responders were at the scene of the incident, which took place Thursday morning at the Superior Refinery in Superior, Wis.

Mel Duvall,

a spokesman for Husky Energy, a Canadian company based in Calgary, Alberta, confirmed it was responding to an incident but said it was unsure how many people were injured.

The company said in a statement that all personnel were accounted for. There were no immediate reports of deaths.

“We are aware that there have been injuries, we do not have an exact number at this time,” Mr. Duvall said. “Our priority right now is on ensuring the safety of the personnel and responding to the situation.”

After the fire reignited Thursday afternoon, Douglas County authorities ordered an evacuation around the refinery of an area that spanned 2 miles to the north, 3 miles to the east and west, and 10 miles south. The county is home to roughly 44,000 people, according to Census figures.

Husky announced last August that it was acquiring the facility, which can produce 50,000 barrels a day, from

Calumet Specialty Products Partners,

L.P. for $435 million. It said in a regulatory filing that the final closing price in November was $527 million, including $85 million of working capital.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday that it has opened an investigation into the explosion and fire. OSHA said it fined Calumet $21,000 over emergency response and flammable liquids violations at the facility in 2015.

Bob Jauch,

a former Wisconsin state senator, said he and his daughter were at home in Poplar, Wis., having breakfast when they heard a strange boom and “felt something shake.”

“It was such an unusual jolt, my daughter thought it was an earthquake,” Mr. Jauch said, adding that they later learned of the blast in Superior, about 20 miles away.

Write to Erin Ailworth at Erin.Ailworth@wsj.com and Dan Molinski at Dan.Molinski@wsj.com

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