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UPDATE: Great Falls refinery issues statement, all plant personnel accounted for

Posted: 2:14 PM, Mar 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-07 18:56:24-05

UPDATE: 4:55 p.m. — The roads around Calumet Refinery in Great Falls are now open.

Road closures were put in place after emergency crews responded to a reported explosion and fire around 1:15 p.m. Thursday.

The Montana Department of Transportation reported all roads within a half-mile radius of the refinery were blocked during the incident.

Calumet Montana Refining released a statement at 2:39 p.m. confirming all plant personnel were accounted for and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Sacajawea Elementary School and North Middle School were under a shelter in place, however, it was lifted before school was out.

Businesses in close proximity to the refinery were evacuated such as the Montana Club and the Mountain View Co-Op stores.

The Great Falls Police Department reported that air quality experts determined the air to be safe in the vicinity of the refinery.

Benefis Health System told MTN News the hospital is always prepared for a major emergency.

Here is the complete statement from Calumet:

Calumet Montana Refining has confirmed an incident has occurred at their plant. At this time all plant personnel have been accounted for and there are no injuries to report. A perimeter has been established around the plant, and this includes some interruption to traffic. The cause of the incident is under investigation. Calumet’s top priority is the safety of plant staff and the community. Updates will be provided as they are available.

We will update you when we get more information.


GREAT FALLS – Calumet has issued a statement concerning the reported explosion and possible fire at the refinery in Great Falls.

Here is the complete statement from Calumet:

Calumet Montana Refining has confirmed an incident has occurred at their plant. At this time all plant personnel have been accounted for and there are no injuries to report. A perimeter has been established around the plant, and this includes some interruption to traffic. The cause of the incident is under investigation. Calumet’s top priority is the safety of plant staff and the community. Updates will be provided as they are available.

The shelters in place at Sacajawea Elementary School and North Middle School have been lifted. Bus delays are expected. Parents who are picking up their kids from the schools are asked to come in from the west or north.

Some roads around the refinery are still closed at this time. The 15th Street bridge is open in both directions, however, and drivers are asked to use caution while driving in the area.

Road blocks have been lifted on the Old Havre Highway and 25th Avenue NE.

Air quality experts have determined the air to be safe in the vicinity of the refinery.

Great Falls Fire Rescue and the Great Falls Police Department are still on scene.

We have a reporter at the scene and will update you when we get more information.

UPDATE #2! We have just been given the "all clear" and Lt. Black has instructed our units to stand down. Traffic will be…

Posted by Great Falls MT Police Department on Thursday, March 7, 2019


GREAT FALLS – Emergency crews are responding to a reported explosion and possible fire at the Calumet Refinery along Smelter Avenue in Great Falls.

North Middle School and Sacajawea Elementary Schools have a shelter in place as does the City of Great Falls Animal Shelter.

Anyone who is in the area around the refinery is asked to shelter in your home or business with windows and doors closed.

Traffic is shut down in the area around the refinery including along the 9th Street, the Old Havre Highway, and Smelter Avenue.

Photo courtesy Relay for Life

The establishments around the refinery have been evacuated such as the Montana Club and the Mountain View Co-Ops.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area. Delays are expected.

Responding crews including Great Falls Fire Rescue and the Great Falls Police Department.

We have a reporter on scene and will update you when we get more information.

Great Falls Fire Rescue is responding to the Refinery for a reported explosion and possible fire. Please avoid the area…

Posted by Great Falls Fire Rescue on Thursday, March 7, 2019