The Spartan Spin

Husky Oil Refinery Explosion Impacts Students

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Students wait for rides outside of the school after being evacuated on April 26.

Students wait for rides outside of the school after being evacuated on April 26.

Josie Goad

Josie Goad

Students wait for rides outside of the school after being evacuated on April 26.

By Josie Goad, Editor

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UPDATED 9:55 a.m., April 28

The Husky Energy oil refinery exploded on Thursday, April 23, causing at least 11 injuries, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The explosion resulted in a city wide evacuation and numerous students leaving school before the district-wide evacuation was initiated.

Senior Dylan Lowney was one student that left before the evacuation. His father works as an operator and emergency medical technician at the oil refinery. His father was not present during the first explosion, but got called in to fight the fire.

Lowney knew about the explosion shortly after it happened.

“I just had this gut feeling that something just happened,” Lowney said. “And sure enough I got a text from my dad saying something’s happening at the refinery right now and I’m okay don’t worry.”

Senior Mckenzie Dolsen stayed at school until the evacuation. Dolsen’s father also works at the oil refinery. He was not at work during the time of the explosion because he works night shifts, so Dolsen did not leave.

“Thankfully he was at home so while everything happened so I personally wasn’t affected as deeply as I would have been,” Dolsen said.

Dolsen still knows some of her father’s friends that work day shifts and on the refinery’s emergency response team.

“I guess the best way to explain it is that my stomach dropped and my heart started racing,” Dolsen said.

Officials declared the fire was out at 6:45 p.m., but at 9:10 p.m. on Thursday the evacuation was still in place.

As of Thursday, 7:05 PM, classes for the Superior School District, as well as the Maple School District, WITC-Superior and UW-Superior, were canceled for Friday.

The evacuation was lifted as of 6 a.m. on Friday, April 27, by Mayor Jim Paine.

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Husky Oil Refinery Explosion Impacts Students