Explosion at N.B. oil refinery sends worker to hospital
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2012 1:54PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2012 5:27PM EDT
One man was sent to hospital with minor injuries after a tank exploded at a New Brunswick oil refinery Wednesday.
The explosion at Irving Oil in Saint John, N.B., Canada’s largest refinery, occurred just before noon local time.
In a statement, the company said the injured employee was “taken to hospital as a precaution” and there was no other damage at the refinery. About an hour after the explosion, operations returned to normal, the company said.
Fire platoon Chief Brian Wilson told The Canadian Press that an 1,100-barrel tank of potassium hydroxide was “over-pressurized” and exploded, but there was no fire. He said the injured man suffered scrapes and bruises after the impact of the blast knocked him to the ground.
Irving Oil said the tank was undergoing scheduled maintenance at the time.
A clean-up is underway and Wilson said WorkSafeNB is investigating the incident.
A March 2002 explosion at the refinery sent three workers to hospital with burns. In June 1998, a blast killed one worker and injured two others.
Irving Oil opened in 1960 and currently produces more than 300,000 barrels of petroleum products per day.
With files from The Canadian Press