20 Injured in Wisconsin Oil Refinery Explosion

Multiple people are injured after an explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin [...]

Multiple people are injured after an explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin Thursday morning.

Different reports range from six to 20 people injured after the explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery just after 10 a.m.

Five people were taken to hospitals in Duluth, Minnesota, Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger told The Associated Press. He doesn't know the extent of their injuries. Others were walking wounded. There were no known fatalities.

"There is a report of multiple casualties. Initial reports are at least 20 casualties transported. Multiple agencies have responded,'' Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger said in a statement, WDAZ reports.

The Associated Press reports that according to the fire chief, at least six people were injured in the incident.

Refinery employees and contractors were reportedly evacuating.

The Superior Police Department tweet that civilians should stay away from the area due to a "large incident."

The fire was extinguished by about 11:20 a.m., Panger told the AP. He said a small tank containing either crude oil or asphalt exploded.

Witnesses told the Duluth News Tribune that they saw at least seven ambulances enter the facility, with some having already left. Passersby said they felt an explosion rock buildings up to a mile away.

"It shook the houses all over. They felt it at Belknap Plaza … Tons of people were trying to get down there. They should be staying out," said Mark Androsky, owner of Stadium Towing. "They had people evacuating, a lot of the contactors. They are trying to get upwind of the smoke."

"I've seen at least eight ambulances go in there … and six fire trucks," Androsky said, noting the fire and smoke seemed to be "calming down" by about 10:45 a.m.

The Superior School District sent a message to parents telling them that "at this time, there is no reason to evacuate any of the school buildings. We will be keeping all students in the buildings."

Husky Energy is the new owner of the refinery, purchasing it for $492 million from Indianapolis-based Calumet in November. While there were no planned changes for the facility, Husky was planning on continuing a $30 million upgrade started by Calumet.

The refinery, which provides the Northland with gasoline, asphalt and other petroleum products, employs about 180 people, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The facility processes about 50,000 barrels of oil per day.

It was built in 1950 and changed hands in ownership twice before being sold to Husky.

Superior is a city of about 27,000 people that borders Minnesota to the north and the tip of Lake Superior.