Reported explosion at oil refinery in Saint John, NB

Saint John Mayor Don Darling said on Twitter: "This is obviously a live event. when we know more, you'll know more".

Michael Steeves, who lives in Saint John, said he was driving about a kilometre away when he noticed what was happening at the refinery.

Residents across Saint John reported feeling the explosion, with some calling it "bed shaking", according to CBC.

The company shut most of the plant for planned maintenance in late September, but the smaller, 25,000 bpd gasoline-making units and the 125,000 bpd crude unit were still running, a source familiar with the plant's operations said.

At 4 p.m. local time, residents were still being asked to stay in their homes, and nearby streets remained closed.

Irving said Monday morning that a " major incident" had occurred at its Saint John refinery.

More than half of that is exported to the United States, with the refinery being one of the most important in terms of importing fuel to the Northeast.

Nate Guimond, 36, said he was doing house repairs when he saw smoke.

"There was thick, pitch black smoke mixed with white smoke", said Guimond.

"Thank you to all first responders who are working in response to this incident", it tweeted.

Mark Melanson and Jocelyn Legassie were sitting at the Tim Hortons on Hickey Road, about three kilometres away from the refinery, when they heard a popping sound.

Rob Beebe felt the explosion from his apartment on Martha Avenue, a few streets over from the refinery.

"Just seeing the clouds, and what they've got closed off, it just seems to be a pretty similar level of event", he said.

The Irving Oil Refinery is a Canadian oil refinery located in Saint John, New Brunswick.

'We are actively assessing the situation at this time and will share more information when available'.

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