A number of contractors and employees were severely injured at the Husky Energy Refinery Explosion in late April. The facility was preparing for a May shutdown during which time equipment is shut down so that it can be opened, inspected, and repaired as needed. The explosion occurred at approximately 10 a.m. CDT on April 26. The initial explosion caused property damage and loss of containment of an asphalt tank. The contents of the tank spilled out and the material combusted.
The initial explosion at the Husky Refinery took place within the refinery’s Fluid Catalytic Cracking, or FCC, unit. The FCC unit “cracks” heavy, high boiling point hydrocarbon molecules into smaller molecules with lower boiling points. The main product produced by the FCC unit is gasoline. The CSB investigation team is currently narrowing its focus to equipment within unit to determine the cause of the initial explosion. The investigation team is requesting and reviewing documentation pertaining to the FCC unit.
Metallurgical testing will be conducted in order to determine the cause of the initial explosion. The CSB has retained a metallurgical expert to help identify the testing necessary and will work with Husky and other agencies to determine the protocols for the testing.
Contractors and direct Husky Refinery employees were injured and taken to local hospitals.