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2 BP workers are dead after a major fire at an Ohio refinery, company says

The two workers had earlier been reported injured, but BP said they later died. Images posted on social media showed huge flames and a column of black smoke at the Husky Toledo Refinery in the city of Oregon, just outside Toledo.

Two people have died after a giant blaze broke out Tuesday at a British Petroleum refinery in Ohio, officials said.

Images posted on social media showed huge flames and a column of black smoke at the Husky Toledo Refinery in the city of Oregon, just outside Toledo.

BP had earlier said two staff members were injured in the fire on Tuesday night. A spokesperson confirmed early Wednesday that the two workers had succumbed to their injuries.

"It is with deep sadness we report that two bp staff injured in a fire at the bp Husky Toledo Refinery have passed away," the spokesperson said. "Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of these two individuals."

They said all other staff members were accounted for and that an employee assistance team was onsite to support workers impacted by the incident.

Smoke rises Tuesday from the BP Oil Refinery in Toledo, Ohio.
Smoke rises Tuesday from the BP Oil Refinery in Toledo, Ohio.Courtesy Shawnelle Jones

The spokesperson said the fire was extinguished Tuesday night at around 10:15 p.m. The refinery was "safely shut down," they said, and remains offline through Wednesday.

"Our highest priority remains the safety of our staff, the responders and the public," they said.

Andrew Laurell, a supervisor with the Lucas County 911 Regional Council of Governments, said it wasn’t clear where in the plant the fire ignited. It was also not clear what started the blaze.

The council, which handles emergency calls for the area, got its first 911 call about the fire at 6:50 p.m., he said.

A fire also reportedly broke out at the refinery in November of last year. No injuries were reported in that incident, WNWO, an NBC affiliate based in Toledo reported at the time.

BP describes the plant as a "cornerstone" of the regional economy that can produce 160,000 barrels of crude oil daily — or about 3.8 million gallons of gas.