A fiery blast tore through a BP oil refinery near Toledo, Ohio, on Tuesday, leaving two dead and shuttering the facility for repairs.
In the aftermath of the explosion, concerns are being raised about its potential impacts on gasoline supplies and prices in the Midwest.
The average price of gas in the state of Michigan spiked five cents per gallon the day after the accident, according to the Detroit Free Press. The reported price was $3.85.
AAA spokeswoman Adrienne Woodland told the outlet that it is unclear how long the higher gas prices will persist. However, AAA analysts estimated the refinery shutdown could last up to two weeks.
Viewer video shows flames and smoke billowing from the BP Refinery in Oregon pic.twitter.com/uQWKn1JFHT
— WTVG 13abc (@13abc) September 20, 2022
Brothers Max and Ben Morrissey were killed in the fire, according to WTVG-TV. The two leave behind wives and young children.
“They were extremely tight. Everywhere Max would go, Ben would go. If there were any kind of scuffle, they would always have each other’s backs, and they were definitely two boys you didn’t want to mess with,” family friend Zac Shabel said.
Although the extent of the brothers’ injuries was not disclosed, they reportedly died early Wednesday at a University of Michigan medical facility in Ann Arbor.
BP issued a statement on the deaths of the Morrissey brothers.
“It is with deep sadness we report that two bp staff injured in a fire at the bp-Husky Toledo Refinery have passed away,” the statement said. “Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of these two individuals. All other staff is accounted for and our employee assistance team is on site in Toledo to support our employees impacted by this tragedy.”
The Toledo Blade reported that authorities were alerted to the fire around 7 p.m. Nineteen firefighters and five vehicles would ultimately respond to the call.
The fire was extinguished around 10:15 p.m.
According to BP’s website, the Toledo facility can process up to 160,000 barrels of crude oil daily. That accounts for 3.8 million gallons of gasoline, 1.3 million gallons of diesel fuel and 600,000 gallons of jet fuel.
In August, another fire at a BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, resulted in EPA emergency waivers to curb price increases throughout the Midwest.