This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Canada refinery suffers major explosion and fire during turnaround

09 October 2018

An explosion at the Irving Oil Refinery in St John, New Brunswick, started a major fire on October 8. Local sources said 3,000 people were at the site when the incident happened, mostly contractors working on a turnaround at the facility. The company confirmed that all its workers and contractors were accounted for. 

St John Refinery - Image: Irving Oil
St John Refinery - Image: Irving Oil

A local hospital said five people working on the site had been admitted with non-life threatening injuries and were later discharged.

A company official told reporters there had been a malfunction in the refinery’s diesel treating unit, where sulphur is removed from diesel fuel.

The Irving Oil facility is Canada’s largest refinery, producing – according to the company’s website – more than 320,000 barrels of finished energy products a day. It employs 1,400 workers when fully operational. Much of the plant had been shut down for the turnaround.

St John Mayor Don Darling said the city is working with Irving Oil and the province’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO), which co-ordinates responses to such events, to assess the situation. Work Safe New Brunswick has launched an investigation, and the EMO is working with the province’s Ministry of Environment to monitor air quality.

He said no evacuation is planned for the area, but initially encouraged people to stay in their homes and away from the site. He said the refinery has been shut down, and regulators will decide when it is ready to resume operations.


Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page