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Science lab explosion on North Side sends chemist to hospital
A beaker in a scientific laboratory on the North Side exploded Tuesday, sending a person to the hospital, according to the Madison Fire Department.

The "isolated" explosion at the 3500 block of Anderson Street near Madison Area Technical College sent a chemist to the hospital with minor injuries.

The chemist was attempting to create a new compound by mixing two chemicals together in a beaker. 

The explosion took place around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday.
us_WI  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
yesterday by dchas
Hazmat crew responds to lab explosion in Madison
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- Several crews from the Madison Fire Department, including the Hazardous Materials Incident Team, responded to a lab explosion on Madison's East Side on Tuesday.

According to the Madison Fire Department, they responded to the lab on the 3500 block of Anderson Street around 12:20 p.m. When crews arrived, they learned there was an explosion in one of the lab's hoods.

A Madison Fire Department spokeswoman said one person was injured. As of 1:30 p.m. no one was taken to a hospital.

According to the Madison Fire Department, there is no danger to the public and there is no threat of a chemical or gas leak. Roads in the area were temporarily closed during the initial response.
us_WI  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago by dchas
Husky Energy Discusses Rebuild Efforts at Open House, Residents Voice Concerns
Next Friday will mark a year since fires and an explosion tore through Superior's Husky Refinery. Tuesday night, Twin Ports residents had the chance to learn more about how the company plans to move forward, and also voiced lingering concerns.

Jo Haberman, recalled the incident a year ago.

"Part of my neighborhood, which is Park Point was evacuated. It was close to my apartment and too close for comfort so my granddaughter and I evacuated Duluth and Superior," said Haberman. "She was so terrified, and I was also terrified."

She says lingering concerns for safety brought them out to Husky's open house, as the company presented their rebuilding plans.  

"It's absolutely clear to me that Husky needs to replace Hydrogen Fluoride. They can afford to replace it. It's a public safety issue," said Haberman.

"I'm concerned about the water. I'm concerned about our proximity," said Christina Schleicher, a Twin Ports resident. " If something where to happen what is in place for that."

Monday night, Husky's General Manager said they stand by their decision to continue using the chemical.

"When you look at the gasoline as a product that the refinery really likes to provide for Superior itself, the HF alkylation unit is a vital component of that motor gasoline, so right now we are intending to maintain that operation," said Kollin Schade.

However, he says there will be additional safety measures. Informational booths were set up for that and other improvements they are making.

"We're a learning refinery. We know there are things we can improve on both safety and environmental, and we're going to support those during the rebuild process," Schade added.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
9 days ago by dchas
No injuries in warehouse fire at Millipore Sigma in Sheboygan County
SHEBOYGAN COUNTY — Multiple departments were called out to a warehouse fire at Millipore Sigma near County Highway V and County Highway A in the Town of Wilson in Sheboygan County Sunday, April 14.

It happened just after 1 p.m.

The Town of Wilson fire chief said the fire broke out in a storage facility for production chemicals at the plant. It was under control within 30 minutes of the arrival of fire crews.

There were no reported injuries. Damage was very minimal.

The cause was under investigation, but the fire chief noted there was a single point of origin, and said a “combustible solid” was on fire.
us_WI  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago by dchas
Explosion-damaged Wisconsin refinery will keep using toxic chemical
Husky Energy said it will continue to use hydrogen fluoride at its Superior refinery.

In an announcement posted to its website Wednesday morning, April 3, the Calgary-based oil company said it would continue to use the potentially dangerous chemical in the refining process at its Superior refinery, but would add additional safety features.

The evacuations during the April 26, 2018, explosion and fire were based on hydrogen fluoride release concerns, but no hydrogen fluoride was released during the incident.

Hydrogen fluoride, which is used in the process to create high-octane gasoline, can cause death from an irregular heartbeat or from fluid buildup in the lungs when inhaled at high levels or in combination with skin contact.

In the year since the explosion and fire, Twin Ports residents and local and federal officials have voiced concerns over the refinery’s use of hydrogen fluoride and have urged Husky to use alternative chemicals, like sulfuric acid.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
22 days ago by dchas
Crews burning off propane after underground tank leak in La Crosse
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Crews are using a flaring operation, or burning off propane, after a leak was discovered in an underground tank on La Crosse's south side.

The La Crosse Fire Department was called to the area of 28th St. and Mesa Grande Pl. at approximately 1:00 p.m. Tuesday for an odor of gas coming from an underground propane tank.

Xcel Energy crews reported the leak after a gas surveillance truck detected it during a routine survey.

Some of the first crews on scene also discovered slight gas readings in the basement of a nearby business.
us_WI  transportation  release  response  propane 
4 weeks ago by dchas
Explosions at Manitowoc home lead to an arrest
MANITOWOC, Wis. — Manitowoc Police have arrested a man after two explosions at a south side home on Thursday.

Police say they were called to investigate explosions on the 900 block of South 29th Street.

ATF, FBI, a hazmat team and others investigated the home, where they report they found military grade explosives.

A 35-year-old man was taken into custody and charges are expected for endangering safety and possession of an explosive.
us_WI  public  explosion  response  explosives  illegal 
5 weeks ago by dchas
UPDATE: Marshfield apartment building evacuated after household chemical spill
Four people were sent to the hospital to be checked over after a household chemical mishap and evacuation at an apartment building for the elderly in Marshfield Friday night.

Deputy Fire Chief Troy Weiland tells NewsChannel 7 they got a call just after 9pm that there was a strange smell coming from a hallway in the Cedar Rail Apartments on South Cedar Street.

Once crews arrived on the scene, they traced the smell to one apartment. Weiland says one person had spilled an acetone-based product and used bleach to try to clean it up, creating the noxious fumes.

Residents of the three-story building were evacuated to another owned by the same company. Four people, two residents and the first two police officers on the scene were sent to the hospital to be checked over. At least one had burning eyes. Weiland says the checkup by the doctors was mostly precautionary.
us_WI  public  release  injury  acetone  bleach 
9 weeks ago by dchas
Man convicted in Madison apartment chemical scare
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- An Illinois man who was charged with storing and experimenting with chemicals inside his apartment in Madison was convicted Friday afternoon.

Brian Campbell, 31, was convicted with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, felony possession of improvised explosives and misdemeanor bail jumping.

Campbell forced an evacuation at an apartment building at Timber Lake Village due to a strong chemical odor coming from one of the rooms on Feb. 20, 2018. HazMat crews discovered evidence of experimentation and explosive materials inside.

Campbell will be sentenced on Friday, Feb. 22. The prosecution plans to ask for three years or less in prison for Campbell.
us_WI  public  followup  response  bomb  illegal 
january 2019 by dchas
Contractor sues Husky refinery over blast injuries
A contractor working at the Husky Energy refinery in Superior said the April 26 explosion sent him 15 feet into the air, resulting in severe injuries when he hit the floor, according to a lawsuit filed against the refinery and its owners.

Contractor Taylor Mayr of Houston, Texas argues in a November complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison that Husky Energy, Inc. and Superior Refining Company LLC were negligent in operating the refinery, conducted "extra hazardous and/or ultrahazardous and abnormally dangerous activities" and are responsible for over $75,000 in damages to him because the blast left him with "permanent and severe injuries."

Mayr, employed by Evergreen North America Industrial Services and tasked with chemical cleanup as the refinery shut down for maintenance in late April, was working near the fluid catalytic cracking unit, where the explosion occurred as crews worked to shut it down for planned maintenance, according to the compliant.

When the blast occurred shortly after 10 a.m. on April 26, "The initial shock wave caused by the explosion launched (Mayr) fifteen ... plus feet in the air and hurled him to the floor," the complaint states. "As a result (Mayr) suffered severe injuries."
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  injury  unknown_chemical 
january 2019 by dchas
Crews respond to ammonia leak in La Crosse
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The La Crosse Fire Department responded to an ammonia leak early Saturday morning.

It happened at a Graceland Food Processing.

On arrival to the incident, crews entered a large commercial property and verified dangerous ammonia readings in freezer area. Hazmat technicians shut the system down and ventilated remaining ammonia.

No injuries were reported and the system was to be serviced by a professional refrigeration company.
us_WI  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
december 2018 by dchas
Investigators: Hole In Valve Caused Superior Refinery Explosion
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A hole in a valve is likely the source of an explosion at the Husky Energy Refinery in Superior, Wisconsin last spring.

The explosion injured 36 people and led to the evacuation of a large part of the city.

The United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Board shared its findings Wednesday during a Town Hall meeting.

They say erosion created a hole in the slide valve, allowing air to mix with chemicals, which caused the explosion.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
december 2018 by dchas
Superior, Wis., to hold town meeting on refinery explosion to discuss emergency plans
A town hall meeting this week in Superior, Wis., could shed light on an ongoing federal investigation of the Husky Energy refinery explosion and fire last spring that injured 13 and caused the panicked evacuation of thousands of people.

The evacuation was the first time that many local residents learned of a toxic chemical used at the refinery — hydrogen fluoride — that according to a worst-case scenario written by the Environmental Protection Agency could threaten the lives of 180,000 people in the Twin Ports area if accidentally released.

Almost as soon as the fire was put out, and after emergency officials said no hydrogen fluoride was released, alarmed residents began asking questions about the company’s use of the chemical.

The town hall-style meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Yellowjacket Union, will include an update from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazardous Investigation Board on its investigation. A preliminary report from the agency released in August said the blast could have been caused by a worn valve that allowed air to leak and mix with combustible hydrocarbons. The agency’s final report isn’t expected for several months.

The meeting was requested by U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum and Rick Nolan along with U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

Numerous people have called for a ban on hydrogen fluoride at the refinery, including the mayors of Duluth and Superior. An advocacy group formed in the days after the explosion, the Twin Ports Action Alliance, also wants a ban on hydrogen fluoride. The group’s co-founder, Ginger Juel, said she hopes to ask the Chemical Safety Board for more information on emergency preparedness and on how hydrogen fluoride is transported.
us_wi  industrial  follow-up  hydrogen_fluoride  enviromental 
december 2018 by dchas
Madison hazmat team responds after man opens bag of fentanyl
TOWN OF MADISON (WKOW) — Police and fire personnel responded to an apartment in the town of Madison after a man opened a bag of fentanyl.

The Madison Fire Department Hazardous Incident Team responded to the 1900 block of Sherman Avenue Monday afternoon after a report of someone who opened a bag of fentanyl because he was trying to destroy it.

A police sergeant tells 27 News the incident was mostly contained to that person’s apartment and there is no danger to other apartments in the building.
us_WI  public  release  response  fentanyl 
december 2018 by dchas
Chlorine, ammonia odor sends man to hospital; Hazmat team investigates
MADISON, Wis. - One person was taken to the hospital Monday morning after inhaling fumes while working in a community clubhouse on Madison’s south side, according to a release from the Madison Fire Department.

Emergency crews were called around 8:30 a.m. to Highland Manor at 10 Malibur Drive for reports of a noxious odor that caused the custodian to get weak and collapse in one of the bathrooms, officials said.

One person told officials the odor smelled like a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, but the person who collapsed said he was not using both of those chemicals at the same time, according to the release. With the help of a co-worker, the man was able to crawl out of the room and walk to a vehicle, where he waited for emergency crews to arrive.

A co-worker opened some doors to allow fresh air in, so emergency crews were not able to determine what the odor was caused by, officials said. The building was cleared just before 10 a.m.
us_WI  public  release  injury  ammonia  chlorine 
november 2018 by dchas
Crews Respond to Lithium Fire at MilliporeSigma Plant
A lithium fire broke out Tuesday night at the MilliporeSigma plant in Wilson, WI, drawing a response from several fire departments in the area and a hazmat team, local news organizations reported. T

Firefighters were called to the scene at about 9:15 p.m. The cause of the fire remains unknown, but no injuries were reported during the incident, coverage by Fox News affiliate WITI said.

Reports said the facility produces chemicals for consumer electronics, lightbulbs, and personal care products. 
us_WI  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
november 2018 by dchas
OSHA: Deferred maintenance, skipped procedures led to refinery explosion
SUPERIOR, Wis.—The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the Husky Energy refinery explosion and fire on April 26 that rocked the Duluth-Superior area could have been prevented if the company had maintained its equipment and established safety procedures.

OSHA delivered eight "serious" citations and $83,000 of fines on Tuesday, Oct. 2, to Superior Refining Company LLC, which owns and operates the Superior refinery but does business as Husky Energy.

In a news release, OSHA said the citations were issued "for failing to control the use and release of highly hazardous chemicals after an explosion and fire injured several employees" and that the explosion and fire could have been avoided.

"Ensuring the mechanical integrity of critical equipment used during the refinery shutdown operation could have prevented this incident," said OSHA Eau Claire Area Office Director Mark Hysell in the release, adding that the company was cooperating fully with investigators.

The company has 15 days to contest the citations and fines.

OSHA's citations detail the company's a lack of safety procedures for the fluid catalytic cracking unit, or FCC, where the explosion occurred.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
october 2018 by dchas
Minnesota lawmakers ask for meeting on refinery explosion
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum has asked the federal Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to hold a public forum in the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, Wis., in early fall, citing "serious questions about the safety of U.S. refineries using hydrogen fluoride" in the wake of an explosion and fires at the Husky oil refinery in Superior in April.

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin also signed the letter Wednesday.

The accident on April 26 caused an enormous smoke plume, and forced the evacuation of thousands of people in a zone extending 10 miles south of Superior and three miles to the south and east.

The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is currently investigating the incident. In a preliminary report released in August, investigators say a failed valve caused the initial explosion.

Debris flew about 200 feet, puncturing a large storage tank, spilling more than 15,000 barrels of hot asphalt, which ignited a major subsequent fire.

The debris did not damage a tank about 150 feet away, containing 15,000 pounds of hydrogen fluoride, a highly toxic chemical that's used to make higher-octane gasoline. It's an acid that can cause lung damage when people are exposed to it.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
september 2018 by dchas
Workers File Civil Lawsuit Against Husky Energy
Contract workers are suing Husky Energy in Douglas County Circuit Court for injuries they received in an explosion at the company’s oil refinery this year. The civil lawsuit is separate from a class action lawsuit filed against Husky by Superior residents on Aug. 20.  

The men were working for contractors Evergreen North America and Jamar Contractors as part of a five-week turnaround to conduct maintenance at the facility.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
september 2018 by dchas
Class action complaint filed against Husky Energy
SUPERIOR, Wis. — A class action complaint was filed against Husky Energy and Superior Refining Company in response to the April 26 explosion and fire at their Superior refinery, which prompted the evacuation of most of Superior.

In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on Aug. 20, Jasen Bruzek, Hope Koplin and Neil Miller argue Husky displayed negligence, nuisance, trespass on land and strict liability — extrahazardous and/or ultrahazardous activity before, during and after the fire and evacuation.

According to the complaint, "Defendants failed to exercise due care in the maintenance and monitoring of the Husky Superior Refinery so as to prevent fires, explosions, and the uncontrolled release of hazardous substance, odors, and wastes into the environment."

The complaint cites the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's Aug. 2 factual update that found a worn-out valve may allow air to mix with hydrocarbons within the fluid catalytic cracking unit, or FCC, then come in contact with iron sulfide deposits, which can spontaneously ignite if in contact with air. Since the evacuation zone was based on the worst-case scenario — the release of hydrogen fluoride, a highly dangerous chemical used in the refining process — the complaint cites the Center for Public Integrity in claiming that up to 180,000 people could have been killed or injured if the hydrogen fluoride was released.

No hydrogen fluoride was released.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
september 2018 by dchas

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