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The Indiana BP oil refinery was temporarily closed



Whiting, Indiana – A power outage that struck BP’s massive oil refinery in northwest Indiana on Thursday forced the firm to close it and evacuate its employees, according to authorities.

At first, the Whiting refinery employees who work in an office building were the only ones who were evacuated. In an attempt to be extra cautious, BP ultimately chose to evacuate every employee, Whiting Mayor Steve Spebar told The Times of Northwest Indiana.

The refinery complex, which is situated along Lake Michigan around 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Chicago, was flaring its stacks in response to the outage, the city of Whiting stated in a statement. Additionally, nearby roads were closed.

“This flaring is a safety release to burn off the extra product and is a normal process during an event,” the city said. “BP is working to resolve the power outage as quickly as possible.”

BP spokesperson Christina Audisho said in a statement that the company was “in the process of safely shutting down the refinery,” and that local fire departments were helping the evacuation by closing roads nearby. “The safety of refinery staff and the community are our highest priority,” Audisho added.

With a daily processing capacity of around 440,000 barrels of crude oil, the refinery is the largest in the Midwest and the sixth largest in the US, producing asphalt and a range of liquid fuels.

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