Explosion reported at Irving Oil refinery in Saint John

Frederick Owens
October 9, 2018

There are reports of a very serious fire at the Irving Oil Refinery in Saint John in the New Brunswick area of Canada.

Police maintained a cordon around the plant, which is located in a residential area and close to a regional hospital.

One Facebook user living nearby reported feeling a "bed-shaking explosion" at around 10:15 a.m.

Litsa Daeres, 34, who lives nearby, said she just started preparing Canadian Thanksgiving dinner when she heard a loud bang.

She told the AP that her whole house shook, and she thought her furnace exploded.

Irving Oil is a major supplier of oil to the northeastern part of the United States.

"I heard a rumbling, roaring sound", Guimond said.

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Saint John resident Michael Steeves says he was driving about a kilometre away when he noticed the fire and thick, black smoke.

Rob Beebe felt the explosion from his apartment on Martha Avenue, a few streets over from the refinery. Several streets have been closed down.

A massive oil refinery blast shook this historic port city Monday, sending flames and black smoke high into the sky but causing only four minor injuries - and leaving officials relieved it wasn't far worse.

Steeves said the incident reminded him of a similar event in the late 90s, when the same refinery suffered a similar explosion which left one person dead.

Irving said on Twitter that the company is "actively assessing the situation" and will share more information when it becomes available.

The blast was believed to be the result of a malfunction in the diesel refining section of the Irving Oil refinery in St John's, New Brunswick, said company executive Kevin Scott. Irving Oil confirmed Monday that a "major incident" occurred at its refinery.

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