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Bad day in town

FranklinD
FranklinD Member Posts: 399
Well, we haven’t run for the hills yet since I’m still on emergency call-back, but we have bags packed.

This morning, I was on a creeper under a dump truck when I felt the slab shake and heard a “thwump”. I figured a transformer popped outside. Stuck my head out the door and saw black smoke from the refinery 3/4 mile down the road. FD and so on responded, put the fire out. At noon it flared again, big time; order to evacuate our municipal garage came at 1pm, 3 mile radius and 10 miles south is the current evacuation order. Our house is at 2 miles due north, fortunately (for us) the wind is blowing due south.

Currently there are two asphalt tanks burning. Amazingly there were no fatalities in the initial or subsequent explosions. 11 injured.

The refinery was just about to begin a service turnaround, and there were hundreds of contractors working there - pipefitters, plumbers, boilermakers, electricians, & steelworkers.

Keep us in your thoughts...truly awful.

I see now we’re on the national news. Sigh.
Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems

Comments

  • the_donut
    the_donut Member Posts: 374
    Saw that on the news. Hope the winds stay favorable. And hope gas prices don’t go up too much as a result. As I understand it production was around 50,000 barrels per day.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,385
    Stay safe, must be awful
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 703
    Stay safe @FranklinD
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746
    April 27, 2018 06:44 AM

    The evacuation order for thousands of people was lifted at 6 a.m. Friday following an explosion at the Husky Energy refinery in Superior, Wisconsin.

    Mayor Mayor Jim Paine made the announcement via his Facebook page, stating, "I am lifting the evacuation order at 6 am this morning. All indications are that the refinery site is safe and stable and the air quality is clean and normal. Welcome home."

    5:38 am. I am lifting the evacuation order at 6 am this morning. All indications are that the refinery site is safe and stable and the air quality is clean and normal. Welcome home.

    Glad it wasn't what it could have been--GB
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    Yes we ended up being VERY lucky. After speaking to the FD guys late last night, the primary concern was the Hydrogen Fluoride they use to process hi-octane gasoline. They have about 80,000 pounds stored on site. That stuff is extremely toxic to say the least.

    They had to figure out if the storage vessel was compromised, if all the valving was closed off, and if the tank sprayers were keeping it cool enough. Once that was determined, crews from the refinery FD and our local FD moved in with chemical foam and suppressed the asphalt fires within an hour or two. They did a great job. Spot fired cropped up overnight and were dealt with.

    The wind stayed favorable so my neighborhood was never on the mandatory evacuation list.

    It sounds like the ALKY portion of the refinery (which is what uses the Hydrogen Fluoride) is where the first blast originated. Debris from that explosion ripped open an asphalt tank which then caught fire (seen in the pics above).

    What a crazy 24 hours. Oof.

    Thanks for the thoughts, everyone.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,001
    Do you know what type of foam was applied?
    Class B.....AR-AFFF or other? (If I recall the letters correctly)