A collapsed fuel processing tower at Sarnia Imperial refinery Apr. 3, 2019 (BlackburnNews.com photo by Dave Dentinger)

Imperial assessing collapse of 150-foot fuel processing tower

There’ll be a full investigation as to why a 150-foot tower at Imperial’s Sarnia manufacturing site collapsed Tuesday night.

Company spokesperson Kristina Zimmer said the tower is part of refinery fuel processing and typically would contain petroleum products. She said it’s fortunate the tower was out of service being prepared for maintenance when the collapse occurred, and no one was hurt.

“As a part of the investigation into the cause of this, we will work to understand what was happening on the ground in the area of the tower when this occurred and that will include having conversations with some of the people working around there,” said Zimmer.

Zimmer said it’s too early to say how much collateral damage was done when the tower fell, but that is being assessed.

She said they remain focused right now on managing the incident and ensuring safety.

All refinery employees were on site Wednesday but contractors involved in maintenance activities were not.

Plant crews continued to spray water on the tower as a precaution, and Vidal Street South remained closed through much of the day Wednesday between Clifford Street to the north and Kenny Street to the south.

City police announced late Wednesday afternoon that the barricades were being taken down, nearly 20 hours after traffic control around the plant was ordered.

Zimmer said air monitoring has shown zero contaminants.