Delaware authorities have released additional details surrounding the fire at the Delaware City Refinery that occurred on Wednesday.
New Castle County Paramedics Corporal Yvonne Russell said medics were dispatched to the refinery, for a fire with a report of an “explosion.”
Upon their arrival, medics found two patients in need of advanced life support care. The first patient, a 47-year-old man, was in the care of emergency medical technicians suffering from burns to his arms and back. He was treated on scene and transported to Christiana Hospital via Delaware State Police helicopter in critical condition.
The second patient, a 31-year-old man, was also in the care of emergency medical technicians suffering burns to his head, face, hands, and wrists. He was also treated on scene and transported to Christiana Hospital via Delaware State Police helicopter in critical condition.
Both victims were assessed at the hospital and prepared for transportation to the Crozer Burn Center in Upland, Pennsylvania, according to Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio.
Chionchio said that deputies with the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal, who is investigating the incident, were dispatched to the refinery and to Christiana Hospital as part of the investigation.
The incident was first reported at around 1:30 as a large plume of black smoke began filling the skies over New Castle County.
At around 1:50 firefighters, believed to be with the refinery’s fire brigade, alerted New Castle County dispatchers that they needed the assistance of the New Castle County Paramedics for two burn victims.
As part of the medics response, Delaware State Police Aviation’s Trooper 4 was alerted, responded to the scene and was told to land in a nearby parking lot. Minutes later the incident commander asked for a second helicopter. Trooper 5, close by at Summit Airport, responded to the scene within minutes.
As fire crews worked to bring the fire under control the medics readied the two patients for the flight to the hospital and loaded the two men on to the helicopters. Within minutes of lifting off, both helicopters were landing at Christiana Hospital.
Officials have not released any details surrounding the cause of the incident at this point.