Irving Oil says a “major incident” has occurred at its Saint John refinery, after reports of an explosion and fire on Monday morning.
Saint John Police said they are responding to an incident at the refinery and are asking residents to avoid the area altogether. Nearby streets have also been closed.
“We can confirm that a major incident has occurred at our Saint John refinery this morning,” Irving Oil said on Twitter. “We are actively assessing the situation at this time and will share more information when available.”
The following streets are closed: Loch Lomond at Commerce, Grandview at Champlain, Grandview at Bayside, and Loch Lomond at Macdonald.
Several photos on social media showed flames at the refinery. Fire officials were said to be aware of the situation.
Bob McVicar, a resident in the New Brunswick city, posted on Facebook that it felt like a “bed-shaking explosion.”
“We felt the entire building move as if it wobbled,” said Rob Beebe, who felt the explosion from his apartment on Martha Avenue, a few streets over from the refinery.
Very serious fire currently underway at the Irving Oil Refinery. pic.twitter.com/te8X4Xl6Tw
When he walked outside, he noticed black smoke coming from the refinery, so he hopped into the car, drove down the corner and saw fire about 30 metres high.
“We’re sitting here and watching it burn right now,” he said. “It’s getting larger.”
More to come.