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Burning Winnipeg warehouse holds car-racing fuel

Oct. 1, 2012, Winnipeg - Thick, black smoke and flames are spewing from a Winnipeg warehouse that holds highly explosive fuel used for car racing.

October 1, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Dozens of emergency vehicles were on site at Speedway International, a company that boasts on its website that it is LNorth America's No. 1 source for 99.99 per cent racing methanol.''

Witnesses say a huge fireball went up in the air after the initial explosion on Monday afternoon.

Employees say the good news is that no one was inside the building at the time and everyone has been accounted for.

However, there are worries because there are train cars sitting nearby that also contain the racing fuel.

"Numerous roadways in the surrounding area have been closed to all traffic,'' Winnipeg police said in a statement. “As a result of the fire, some evacuations in the immediate area have already
occurred.''

Police were also warning people who might be tempted to come out and watch the fire to stay home.

"Emergency personnel have noted that some members of the public have made their way toward the scene due to curiosity. These individuals are requested to leave the area immediately.''

Witnesses said they could feel heat on their faces from blocks away.

Speedway International says its Pro Comp racing methanol can be shipped throughout North America in sealed 55-gallon drums via tank trucks and by rail.

"Pro Comp racing methanol will provide more horsepower, more torque and longer engine life than any other industrial grade or off-spec methanol,'' the company says on its website.

It says the fuel is used for drag racing and Indy car racing.