A plant’s “coker”—the unit where bitumen is converted into lighter products and petroleum coke—caught fire and exploded. Five workers were injured. Alberta Occupational Health and Safety issued a stop-work order for the coker unit. Other operations at the site remained active. Although an investigation into the explosion’s cause is ongoing, a former oilsands technician familiar with plant operations thinks a possible cause was water getting into the coker furnace.
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