Explosions rock Canada’s largest oil refinery as energy company confirms ‘major incident'

CBC    
     BLAZE Fire rages at the New Brunswick oil refinery in Canada

CBC BLAZE Fire rages at the New Brunswick oil refinery in Canada

A massive "bed shaking explosion" happened at Canada's largest oil refinery on Monday morning and now police are advising residents to avoid the area.

The company that owns the refinery confirmed on Twitter that a "major incident" occurred there. Nearby streets have also been closed.

Residents described feeling an explosion shortly after 10 a.m.

Litsa Daeres, who lives nearby, says she heard a "loud bang" and felt her whole house shake.

"Praying for the safety of all involved", Saint John Mayor Don Darling said on Twitter.

"We're very grateful today - and being Thanksgiving, I think it's appropriate", Kevin Scott, Irving Oil's chief refining and supply officer, told reporters at an afternoon briefing after a tense day.

Irving Oil exports more than half of that to the United States, and the refinery is a critical source of fuel for the Northeast energy market, CNBC reported.

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Nate Guimond, 36, said he was doing house repairs when he saw smoke.

Black smoke and flames can be seen for miles, higher than the refinery's stacks. "At times we were letting that just safely extinguish itself", he said.

Mark Melanson and Jocelyn Legassie were sitting at the Tim Hortons on Hickey Road, about three kilometres away from the refinery, when they heard a popping sound.

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

An explosion shook the city of Saint John, New Brunswick, after a "major incident" at an Irving Oil refinery.

He chose to drive by the refinery and said he was nearby when he felt the vibrations of what he assumes must have been a second explosion.

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