'Danger is over' after Regina refinery explosion
Published Thursday, October 6, 2011 8:42PM EDT
Officials say the danger is over after at least 10 people were injured in an explosion and fire at the Co-op crude oil refinery in Regina Thursday afternoon.
Plant safety manager Gilbert Ledressay says eight victims were taken to hospital with burn injuries, and two were treated on site. Hundreds more were evacuated from the scene.
"The injuries thus far have been described as not life-threatening. Smoke inhalation, abrasions, some burns," Regina Police Services spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich told CTVNews.ca.
Popowich said that relatively speaking, the injuries so far are minor.
A pipe leaking diesel fuel and hydrogen gas caught fire and sent an explosion tearing through part of the plant. No harmful chemicals have been released into the environment, Co-op officials said.
Witnesses near the site told a local radio station that they heard alarms before an explosion went off. Thick smoke could be seen coming from the refinery earlier, but had cleared up for the most part by Thursday evening.
Popowich said "things were under control" by roughly 3 p.m. local time, and officials say all employees have been accounted for.
The 75-year-old Consumers' Co-operative Refineries in Regina, Saskatchewan employs more than 600 permanent staff and processes 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
It occupies 554 acres of land in north Regina.
With files from The Canadian Press