An industrial explosion at a crude oil tank farm took place Saturday afternoon at SECURE Energy’s Elk Point facility northeast of Edmonton.
“Talking to some of the local people, they heard the percussion. Some of them felt the percussion when it happened,” Two Hills County Reeve Don Gulayec said.
Gulayec said more than 35 firefighters from several departments along with RCMP and EMS initially responded.
The county also cut off the natural gas and electricity to the site.
“Basically, you’re dealing with a tank farm that holds hydrocarbon material, and they are all on fire. It’s huge. The thing is you don’t know what the potential for an explosion or things like that are,” Gulayec said.
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Gulayec said experts in industrial explosions were brought in to suppress and control the fire. The Alberta Energy Regulator and an agency to monitor the air quality were also on site. As a precaution, people living nearby were evacuated from their homes.
“There were no fatalities. Some people were hurt from what I gather, but the extent of their injuries is unknown at this time,” Gulayec said.
In a statement to Global News, Secure Energy said: “At appropriately 2:35 p.m. MST on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, a fire started at SECURE Energy’s Elk Point facility. Our emergency response plan was immediately initiated, which included contacting local emergency authorities.”
“All employees are safe and accounted for. The fire is out, and we are working with all appropriate authorities to investigate the cause. The safety of our employees, the public and the environment remain our top priority.”
Gulayec said in the end, he is proud of the many men and women who volunteered to help battle this blaze.
“It was a big fire for our area,” Gulayec said.