Demolition crews have started rebuilding the Husky Energy oil refinery that caused a massive explosion in Superior, WI last spring. Despite calls from residents and lawmakers to stop using hydrofluoric acid at the refinery, Husky Energy confirmed that use of the toxic chemical will continue. Oil refineries use hydrofluoric acid (hydrogen fluoride dissolved in water) to produce high-octane gasoline. A chemical highly toxic to humans, hydrogen fluoride (HF) can cause severe chemical burn injuries if released.
Superior Refinery Explosion
Husky Energy has invested more than $400 million to rebuild its oil refinery in Superior, WI. On April 26, 2018, the refinery exploded due to a faulty valve, injuring about 40 people. The close proximity of a hydrofluoric acid tank prompted the evacuation of nearly 27,000 Superior residents. While HF was not released when the explosion occurred, the evacuation led to mounting questions and fears over the refinery’s use of the hazardous chemical. In fact, a survey by the Twin Ports Action Alliance shows that 37% of Superior residents support an HF ban.
However, Husky Energy announced this week that the Superior refinery will continue its use of HF, citing alternatives such as sulfuric acid and ISOALKY technology as non-commercially viable. If the company had made the switch, it would have been the first U.S. refinery to do so. According to the United Steel Workers, more than 26 million Americans are at risk of a hydrofluoric acid release. HF can cause severe burn injuries and permanent damage to the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and respiratory system. Chemical burns caused by HF are more damaging than other acids due to its ability to destroy body tissue. It is important to seek immediate treatment, because visible damage may not appear until 12-24 hours after exposure.
Can You Sue For Chemical Burns?
If you suffered a chemical burn, you may be able to sue the company for compensation if there is sufficient evidence to prove that the company was liable for your burn injury. The explosion and burn lawyers at Pritzker Hageman help burn victims and grieving families get the answers and peace of mind they need to move forward with their lives. We help chemical inhalation and burn injury victims like you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Please fill out the form below, call 1-888-377-8900 (toll-free), or text 612-261-0856 for a free consultation with an explosion lawyer.