World Media

Irving Oil confirms 'major incident' at Saint John refinery

Irving Oil confirms 'major incident' at Saint John refinery

Photos shared on social media showed plumes of black smoke ascending into the sky over the refinery.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service told CNBC 'We probably import more gasoline from that single refinery than any other single refinery around the world, ' he said.

The refinery was operating under a shutdown, meaning there were more employees than usual working at the time of the accident.

Saint John police are responding as are fire officials.

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It wrote: "We can confirm that a major incident has occurred at our Saint John refinery this morning".

"Praying for the safety of all involved", Saint John Mayor Don Darling said on Twitter.

Residents across the city reported feeling the effects of the explosion. It is now the largest oil refinery in Canada, capable of producing more than 300,000 barrels of refined products per day.

Black smoke and flames can be seen for miles, higher than the refinery's stacks.

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Irving says on Twitter that they are "actively assessing the situation" and they will share more information when it becomes available.

Michael Steeves, who lives in Saint John, said he was driving about a kilometre away when he noticed what was happening at the refinery.

More than one-half of the finished products from the refinery are exported to the U.S. Northeast, according to Irving's website. "I heard a rumbling, roaring sound".

The refinery is near several residential neighbourhoods on Saint John's east side, about five kilometres from the city centre.

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


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