Five of eight workers injured in the N.L. refinery explosion airlifted for care

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Police say five of the eight people injured in an explosion at a refinery in Come By Chance, N.L. were airlifted to the provincial capital for medical treatment.

Newfoundland RCMP Cpl. Jolene Garland did not comment on the condition of the patients, saying only that those transported needed "extra medical attention" beyond what was available in nearby Clarenville, N.L.

Local RCMP closed a Sobeys grocery store parking lot to traffic around 8 p.m. Friday so two emergency aircraft could land and pick up the victims for transport to St. John's.

The cause of Friday's explosion and subsequent fire at the refinery 150 kilometres west of St. John's is under investigation by police and the province's Occupational Health and Safety division.

Jim Stump, president of refining with refinery owner Braya Renewable Fuels, issued a statement on Saturday saying his team is on-site and cooperating with the investigation to ensure it can “prevent incidents like this from happening.”

The refinery, which is a main source of employment in the area, was once an oil-producing plant that has been going through the process of conversion to a renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel operation. A company spokesperson previously said that conversion effort was still in the works at the time of the blast.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press