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Shell Canada investigates after electrical explosion occurs at Edmonton-area refinery

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screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-20-58-10By Phil Heidenreich: 19 Sept 2016

Shell Canada said three of its employees are back at work and doing well after experiencing an “unexpected electrical arc flash” at the company’s Scotford oil refinery and chemical plant Sunday.

In a statement to Global News, Shell Canada said the workers were taken to the company’s health centre as a precaution and “cleared for full duty later that evening.” The company said it’s now investigating what caused the incident.

The U.S. Department of Labor defines an arc flash as a “phenomenon where a flashover of electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air from one conductor to another or, or to ground.” It said the when arc flashes occur with people nearby, “the results are often violent” and can lead to serious injury or death.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety said it was also investigating the incident.

The Shell Scotford Refinery is located in Strathcona County, about 45 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was first published in the afternoon of Sept. 19, 2016 and included details from Shell Canada. At the time, the company said it was investigating after three workers received an electrical shock at the refinery. In the evening, Shell Canada contacted Global News to say the employees were taken to the company health centre as a precaution after there was an “unexpected electrical arc flash” while they were doing maintenance work. The article has since been changed to reflect the new information provided by Shell Canada.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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