I was visiting my dad in south Regina when it happened, so I didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary. Had I been downtown, though, it sounds like I would have been treated to quite the shock wave when an explosion occurred at the Co-Op Refinery in north Regina around 3:30 p.m. today.
According to this CBC report, the explosion occurred in a component that makes liquefied petroleum gas. No injuries were reported, but fire crews that responded said flames were still present over an hour and half after the initial explosion. And judging by comments people were posting on Facebook the explosion could be heard (and felt) over a wide swath of Regina and surrounding area.
The explosion is the latest in a string of accidents at the refinery, the worst being an Oct. 6, 2011 fire in the diesel production area that resulted in seven workers being sent to hospital with injuries. Fires at different parts of the refinery were also reported in May 2012 and February 2013.
The refinery was first built 79 years ago, and has undergone several expansions in recent decades to boost capacity. It’s a pretty huge facility now, covering over 500 acres, but its safety record over the last few years has been pretty sketchy.