A fiery explosion at a BP oil refinery in Toledo, Ohio, killed two workers and forced the plant to close, the company confirmed Wednesday.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that the two BP employees injured in the fire at the BP Husky Toledo refinery have died,” the company said in a statement.
The fire at the BP-operated facility was extinguished Tuesday night, but the oil refinery remains closed Wednesday, the company said. Footage of the incident posted online showed a large fire and black smoke billowing from the plant.
The company did not provide any further information about the workers killed in the fire or other injuries.
“The refinery has been safely shut down and remains offline [Wednesday]. Our highest priority remains the safety of our employees, first responders and the public,” the company said. BP did not say how long the facility would remain closed or the extent of the damage.
The Toledo plant can process about 160,000 barrels of oil per day and is supplied primarily by supplies from the Canadian oil sands. It provides gasoline, diesel and other fuel products to markets throughout the US Midwest.
BP agreed in August to sell its 50 percent stake in the Toledo refinery for $300 million to Canadian oil group Cenovus, although the deal has not yet been finalized.
Analysts warned that a sustained shutdown could push up pump prices amid already tight fuel supplies.
U.S. gasoline prices have fallen sharply over the past two months after hitting a record high of $5 a gallon in June. The national average price of gasoline was $3.68 a gallon on Wednesday, according to the American Automobile Association.
It is the latest in a series of fatal accidents at facilities operated by BP in the US.
In 2010, an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people and released the largest oil spill in the US. In 2005, an explosion at a Texas City refinery killed 15 people and injured 180 others.
An electrical fire at another BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana on August 25 forced that facility to shut down briefly.