On Monday night, a tanker truck full of methanol exploded at the Speedway International in Winnipeg, Canada, setting off a series of explosions.
News outlets have reported the fireball shot hundreds of feet into the air and could bee seen and felt for miles.
“The fire began shortly after 5 pm, with a huge pall of black smoke towering over east Winnipeg. About an hour later, a fireball billowed hundreds of feet into the air in an explosion seen and heard across the city,” LiveLeak reported.
The entire surrounding area was evacuated until 1:00 a.m., as were the roads leading to the Speedway.
Speedway International stores 170,000 litres of methanol, 400,000 litres of racing gas, and 300,000 litres of biodiesel.
“Basarowich, who helps make biodiesel, and some of the company’s other eight employees normally start the day’s second shift at 3 p.m. But they were told to come in late Monday because the company was still awaiting a shipment of magnesol, a powder used to purify biodiesel. Workers on the first shift had gone home early for the same reason,” Global News reported.
The damage is estimated at $15 million.
“[There’s] lots of damaged rail cars and tanker trucks and automobiles,” fire chief Bill Clark said Tuesday.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
According to the company’s website, Speedway makes products including windshield washer fluid, biodiesel and Pro Comp racing methanol, which it ships throughout North America in sealed 55-gallon drums via tank trucks and by rail.
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