'LOUD BANG': Explosion at Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B

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'LOUD BANG': Explosion at Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B

Scott said they hope to minimize the impact on clients.

Residents of the area described feeling an explosion shortly after 10 a.m., and noted that flames and smoke could be seen from a great distance.

He said: "We probably import more gasoline from that single refinery than any other single refinery around the world". Authorities from the health department, province, environment department and the refinery itself were opposed, but the city gave the go-ahead.

He says there's a lot of public concern in this country about how oil is transported, but not much attention is paid to the safety issues around refineries themselves.

The crude section, catalytic reformer and a cogeneration unit were shut following the incident, Genscape reported, adding that multiple units were already offline for maintenance.

"There is a steady stream of tankers in the harbor from Irving", said Mark Usinger, owner of the A.L. Griffin Inc., a ship chandler in Portland.

Emergency measures officials say there were believed to be only "a couple" minor injuries from the massive oil refinery explosion that shook Saint John, N.B., this morning.

"Our aim is to grow our community programs, so we can continuously improve this vital relationship", the website says.

Nate Guimond, 36, said he was doing house repairs when he looked outside and saw the scene.

"The following streets are closed: Loch Lomond at Commerce, Grandview at Champlain, Grandview at Bayside, and Loch Lomond at Macdonald".

"There was thick, pitch black smoke mixed with white smoke", said Guimond.

"I think we need more attention there, and it would lead to safe proximity for residential communities", he said. "I heard a rumbling, roaring sound".

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.

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.

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