Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Irving Oil confirms 'major incident' at Saint John refinery

The company says officials are assessing the situation, but details are now few.

One resident Bob McVicar reported on Facebook it was a "bed-shaking explosion".

Saint John police said they are responding to an incident at the refinery and are asking residents to avoid the area altogether.

He said: "We probably import more gasoline from that single refinery than any other single refinery around the world".

The local refinery is a North Atlantic facility and it is still running with no issues, so he doesn't anticipate any disruptions locally.

"We can confirm that a major incident has occurred at our Saint John refinery this morning", Irving Oil said on Twitter.

We will update as more information becomes available.

Irving Oil exports more than half of that to the United States, and the refinery is a critical source of fuel for the Northeast energy market, CNBC reported.

The massive plant can refine as much as 320,000 barrels a day of gasoline, diesel heating oil, jet fuel and other petroleum products.

Saint John Mayor Don Darling said on Twitter: "This is obviously a live event. when we know more, you'll know more". "I heard a rumbling, roaring sound".

He noticed black smoke coming from the refinery and when he went to get a closer look, noticed huge flames shooting 30 metres high into the sky. "At times we were letting that just safely extinguish itself", he said.

He made a decision to drive by the refinery, and said he was nearby when he felt the vibrations of what he assumed must be a second explosion.

'We felt the entire building move as if it wobbled, ' said Rob Beebe who lives a few streets over from the refinery, according to CBC News.

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