OREGON, Ohio — Two workers are dead after a fire at an oil refinery in northwest Ohio Tuesday night. The facility was shut down Wednesday, officials said.
"It is with deep sadness we report that two BP staff injured in a fire at the bp Husky Toledo Refinery have passed away. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of these two individuals. All other staff is accounted for and our employee assistance team is on site in Toledo to support our employees impacted by this tragedy," BP spokesperson Megan Baldino said in a statement.
The fire started Tuesday night at BP's Husky Toledo Refinery. Large amounts of black smoke, flames and burnoff were seen coming from the area. Witnesses described the incident as an "explosion."
There was no official word on how it started or the extent of the injuries or damage, but the family of the deceased refinery workers confirmed to WTOL 11 they were severely burned.
All other staff were accounted for and the plant was safely shut down.
The refinery, located just east of Toledo, can process up to 160,000 barrels of crude oil per day and “has been an important part of the region’s economy for more than 100 years,” according to BP’s website.
In addition to its own fire department, the company said it worked closely with local fire crews.
“Our highest priority remains the safety of our staff, the responders and the public,” Baldino said.
BP announced last month it had agreed to sell its 50% interest in the Husky Toledo Refinery to its joint venture partner Cenovus Energy.
The fire happened a few weeks after an electrical fire at a BP refinery in northwest Indiana, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Chicago, caused the company to temporarily close that facility. No one was hurt.