UPDATE #6: Sycrude Canada says the fire at the Mildred Lake Upgrader is now isolated and under control. The company has confirmed one employee was taken to hospital, and their family is being supported. All non-essential workers are no longer in the immediate area of the fire.
Alberta Health Services has issued a precautionary health advisory for Fort McKay, along with Civeo’s Beaver River Executive Lodge and Athabasca Lodge, and Syncrude’s Mildred Lake Lodge. Because of smoke and low levels of Sulphur Dioxide, some people could experience health problems.
UPDATE #5: RCMP say Highway 63 has been reopened.
UPDATE #4: The Alberta Energy Regulator has confirmed it is investigating the Syncrude incident. Staff are already on the scene.
UPDATE #3: Alberta Health Services says one person was taken by EMS from the Syncrude plant to the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Fort McMUrray. They are in serious but stable condition.
UPDATE #2: The nearby Fort McKay First Nation has issued an air quality warning due to smoke in the area.
UPDATE: Wood Buffalo RCMP have shut down one lane of traffic on southbound Highway 63, and are asking everyone to avoid the area. There remains no official word on the cause of the explosion or any injuries at the scene.
An explosion and fire has broken out at Syncrude Canada’s base plant, 40 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. The Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo says the blaze broke out just after 2 p.m.
No word yet on how big it is, or if any injuries have been reported.
An explosion at the facility in 2015 stopped operations, but no one was hurt.