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Explosions & Fires During the Weekend Rocked the US

Explosions and fires occurred this weekend at a refinery plant, bioprocessing ethanol plant, and coal prep plant.

Kristen Kazarian

November 27, 2023

2 Min Read
explosions rock US plants
The explosions occurred over Thanksgiving weekend.Image courtesy of John Lund / Stone via Getty Images

White Lake, MI Refinery Explosion

The White Lake Township Fire Department responded to a resulting fire at a refinery plant on Friday, Nov. 24. The fire started just after 10 p.m.

A heavy fire was found in two large storage vessels on the north side of the Young Road refinery plant, officials say. The plant is a fossil fuel recovery plant (crude oil) owned and operated by Hound Resources.

Crews fought the fire for several hours and extinguished it without incident.

"Regardless of what is being posted on social media, there has been no recent hostile fires at this location," reported the White Lake Township Fire Department.

The White Lake Township Fire Department was assisted by surrounding area departments including Highland Township, Waterford Reginal, Springfield Township, Commerce Township, and Milford fire departments.

The Oakland County Hazardous Materials Response Team monitored air quality and the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) State of Michigan has been notified.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Logan, WV Coal Prep Plant

Firefighters battled a fire at a Logan, WV, area coal prep plant Friday evening, Nov. 24, that was reported at 5:50 p.m.

A Facebook post from the Logan Fire Department said the blaze was on the third floor of Bandmill Prep Plant.

The Bandmill Coal Prep Plant has been owned by Coronado Global since 2021.

“Units arrived on scene to find heavy smoke pushing from the structure. Units made entry to find fire on 3rd floor. After approximately two hours all areas was extinguished and all units were clear,” the post said.

No injuries were reported.

Two fires occurred at the same plant in 2009, and 2010. At the time, the plant was idle and owned by Massey Energy. The fire chief at the time considered the two fires "suspicious."

Shell Rock, IA Bioethanol Plant

On Saturday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m., an explosion was felt by neighbors of the POET Bioprocessing Plant in Shell Rock, IA.

The Butler County Emergency Management Agency says fire crews were on scene for over an hour and a half clearing the scene, and confirmed it was small explosion. 

Viewers of local TV news KWWL reported hearing a boom, followed by shakes.

Shortly after the blast, the company sent out an alert to area residents saying everything was under control. "The Shell Rock Plant has had an incident in which there was NO injuries. The plant is running full rate and is stable." The statement read.

The investigation of the cause of the explosion is ongoing.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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