CSB Sets Dec. 12 Town Hall on Husky Refinery Explosion

The agency has previously reported that the initial explosion occurred in the refinery's Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit at about 10 a.m. while the refinery was shutting down that unit for periodic maintenance and inspection.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board will hold a public town hall meeting Dec. 12 at the University of Wisconsin-Superior so the investigative staff can provide an update on a factual update on the April 26, 2018, explosion and subsequent fires at the Husky Energy Superior Refinery in Superior, Wis. The meeting is free and open to the public; it will begin at 10 a.m.

The agency has previously reported that the initial explosion occurred in the refinery's Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit at about 10 a.m. while the refinery was shutting down that unit for periodic maintenance and inspection. It occurred during a scheduled break time, and many workers previously in the unit before the explosion had moved either into blast-resistant buildings or away from the process unit.

One piece of debris from the explosion flew about 200 feet and struck a large storage tank containing about 50,000 barrels of asphalt. The side of the tank was punctured, resulting in the release of more than 15,000 barrels of hot asphalt into the refinery. Approximately two hours after the release, the asphalt ignited, resulting in a large fire.

Thirty-six people sought medical attention as a result of the explosion. Eleven were refinery and contract workers who sustained OSHA-recordable injuries, according to CSB, and a large portion of Superior, Wis. was evacuated.

Husky Energy reported in July that the explosion and fire caused about $27 million in damage and that it expected it would take at least 18 to 24 months for normal operations to resume at the refinery.

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