Explosion at Alberta oilsands, one in serious condition

Mar 16, 2017, 00:45
Explosion at Alberta oilsands, one in serious condition

Alberta Health Services said emergency medical staff transported one person in serious but stable condition from the plant to hospital in nearby Fort McMurray.

Syncrude Canada emergency crews and RCMP are responding to an explosion and fire at an upgrader at one of the company's oilsands sites near Fort McMurray in northern Alberta.

Company officials said Tuesday evening the fire had been isolated and brought "under control".

"Our focus right now is on stabilizing our operation, assessing the damage from the fire", Gibson said.

The fiery blast occurred shortly before 2:00 pm (2000 GMT) at the Mildred Lake site, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the province's oil capital Fort McMurray, said Syncrude, a subsidiary of Suncor, Canada's largest oil company.

As of Wednesday morning, smoke was no longer visible at the site.

Once it's safe, Syncrude will complete a damage assessment and teams will fix affected infrastructure.

"The safety of everyone remains a top priority", said Gibson. "Syncrude will be thoroughly investigating this incident and will be cooperating with other agencies that will be investigating it". The injured Syncrude employee is in hospital with family members and is receiving treatment. I know this must be awful for him, the family and all the workers who were impacted.

Gibson said access to the site had been restricted.

Occupational Health and Safety investigators had not yet been allowed on the site due to ongoing safety concerns, a spokesman said mid-Monday morning.

There's no confirmation on how many people were working at the site when the fire broke out.

An explosion rocked the Mildred Lake facility around 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday, prompting an evacuation, employees at the site at the time said.