Explosion and fire shut Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, Canada

09 October, 2018, 07:11 | Author: Sheila Harris

Irving Oil says a "major incident" has occurred at its Saint John refinery, after reports of an explosion and fire on Monday morning.

Witnesses say there was an explosion at an oil refinery in Saint John, N.B., this morning.

"The following streets are closed: Loch Lomond at Commerce, Grandview at Champlain, Grandview at Bayside, and Loch Lomond at Macdonald".

Residents described feeling an explosion shortly after 10 a.m. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses have taken to social media to post images of black smoke rising from an area inside the refinery.

Saint John Mayor Don Darling said on Twitter: "This is obviously a live event. when we know more, you'll know more".

The refinery is near several residential neighbourhoods, and is about five kilometres from the city core, known as Uptown.

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"Praying for the safety of all involved", Saint John Mayor Don Darling said on Twitter.

Dalzell, the chair of Saint John's Citizens Coalition for Clean Air, said the refinery already emits many different types of "volatile organic compounds" into the air: organic chemicals that have a high vapour pressure and can be hazardous to human health.

"I heard a rumbling, roaring sound", Guimond said.

"From where I was, you could see flames - I would expect they were about a hundred feet in the air - and you've got a huge plume of black smoke", Steeves said about an hour and a half later.

'We felt the entire building move as if it wobbled, ' said Rob Beebe who lives a few streets over from the refinery, according to CBC News. "At times we were letting that just safely extinguish itself", he said.

At this time, no injuries or fatalities have been reported.

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