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Industrial explosion near Elk Point contained

"The fire is contained to the site at this time, and there are no reports of casualties. No residences are under threat from the fire."

LAKELAND - Emergency crews responded to an industrial explosion at an industrial site north of Highway 640, within the County of Two Hills, on Oct. 23.

The location is about 16 minutes southeast of the Town of Elk Point. Residents reported feeling the explosion, and hearing a loud boom earlier in the afternoon.

RCMP have confirmed that members from Two Hills, Elk Point and Vermilion detachments responded to the call at about 2:35 p.m., on Oct. 23. A number of emergency services personnel from a number of regional fire departments and paramedics also responded.

"The fire is contained to the site at this time, and there are no reports of casualties. No residences are under threat from the fire," according to police.

A statement from SECURE Energy was received by Lakeland Today on Sunday afternoon.

At 2:35 p.m., on Oct. 23 "a fire started at SECURE Energy’s Elk Point facility. Our emergency response plan was immediately initiated which included contacting local emergency authorities," according to Kelly Sansom, a spokesperson with SECURE Energy.

Sansom confirmed that all employees were safe and accounted for. 

"The fire is out and we are working with all appropriate authorities to investigate the cause. The safety of our employees, the public and the environment remain our top priority," said Sansom.

Just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, Highway 640 was still blocked both the east and west to allow emergency personnel and equipment access to the scene. Travel was not recommended on Range Roads 62 and 63, or Township Road 554 to the north of the fire site, due to poor visibility caused by smoke.

Passing motorists in the area have reported thick smoke was visible from a distance. 

"At this time, the cause of the fire is not believed to be criminal in nature, however the investigation into the cause will continue," according to RCMP.

A mutual aid agreement is in place for area fire departments, and crews were standing by, ready to respond if required, according to the County of Vermilion River protective services.

*This story have been updated to reflect a statement from SECURE Energy.