Superior Refinery Fire Extinguished

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In Duluth, spokesperson Jessica Stauber said St. Luke's Hospital treated one person.

Authorities said a tank of crude oil or asphalt exploded about 10 a.m.at the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior, a city of about 27,000 that shares a Lake Superior shipping port with nearby Duluth, Minnesota.

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

An initial explosion occurred around 10:06 am (1506 GMT) at the Husky Energy oil refinery. Local officials say the evacuations are a precaution as a plume of noxious black smoke drifts southward from the plant. She looked around but didn't see anything - then a few moments later she saw dense black smoke rising over the trees. Emergency officials later said another tank had caught fire, too, though they didn't specify what was in it.

- With a plume of smoke still billowing miles behind as a nearby industrial fire raged on Thursday, Superior Mayor Jim Paine announced an evacuation order for most of his town-though the air remains safe to breathe, he insisted, calling the move a "precautionary measure".

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The Chemical Safety Board, which is an independent, non-regulatory federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical incidents, said the refinery was shutting down in preparation for a five-week turnaround when the explosion first erupted.

Firefighters are not able to attack the active fire because it's burning too hot, Superior Fire Battalion Chief Scott Gordon said.

Officials said they did not know the cause of the explosions. Another five are being treated at St. Mary's Hospital in Superior, Talarico said.

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. Roads are blocked off around the refinery, and employees have been evacuated.

Most of Superior was covered by the order. She did not have a condition for that person.

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Husky purchased the refinery last year from Calumet last year. It's Wisconsin's only refinery, and produces gasoline, asphalt and other products.

Several people have been injured in an explosion at a refinery in Wisconsin.

"I'm told that this fire will likely burn until the fuel is consumed - and that could be a couple of days", Superior police chief Nicholas Alexander told television station WDIO.

The refinery, which dates back to the early 1950s, has a processing capacity of around 50,000 barrels per day and a storage capacity of 3.6 million barrels of crude and products.

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