Oct. 08–By Christopher Burns, BDN Staff –October 8, 201812:09 pm
Updated: October 8, 201812:27 pm
Irving Oil has confirmed that a “major incident” occurred at its refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, where local residents reported an explosion at the facility, according to the company and media reports.
“We can confirm that a major incident has occurred at our Saint John refinery this morning. We are actively assessing the situation at this time and will share more information when available,” Irving Oil said in a statement on Twitter.
Saint John police advised residents to avoid the area as the department responded to an “incident” at the refinery.
Saint John Mayor Don Darling said on Twitter: “This is obviously a live event … when we know more, you’ll know more. Praying for the safety of all involved.”
Residents across Saint John reported feeling the explosion, according to CBC.
Photos shared on social media showed plumes of black smoke ascending into the sky over the refinery.
It was not immediately clear what facilities at the plant were impacted.
The plant has the capacity to refine 320,000 barrels per day of gasoline, diesel heating oil, jet fuel and other petroleum products, according to CNBC. 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.
Crude oil and gasoline futures moved higher after reports of the explosion, according to CNBC.
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