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Four injured in fire at Cenovus refinery in Lima, Ohio By Reuters

Four injured in fire at Cenovus refinery in Lima, Ohio © Reuters.

By Laura Sanicola

(Reuters) – Four people were injured after a unit caught fire on Thursday at Cenovus’ 185,000 barrel per day Lima, Ohio refinery, Cenovus told Reuters.

The injured people were treated by an onsite medical team and have since been cleared to return to work, Cenovus said.

“We are conducting a thorough investigation. We want to ensure we understand what happened and the steps we can take to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” the company said in a statement.

The refinery is in the middle of a multi-unit turnaround, during which Cenovus employed non-union contractors, according to the local building trades union.

Cenovus did not comment on what unit was affected by the fire or how it started.

Ohio unions had been rallying political support ahead of the turnaround, arguing that Cenovus’ decision to use out-of-state contractors cost the union thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in wages, while risking the safety of the project.

Earlier this week the secretary and treasurer of the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, Mike Knisely, said he spoke in support of proposed state legislation that would require more stringent training requirements for contractors employed by high hazard facilities such as refineries.

“This incident reinforced everything I spoke about earlier this week on the hazards of working at petrochemical facilities … the legislation would have a huge impact to eliminate things like this,” Knisely said.