Several hospitalized after blast at IL silicon plant

Several hospitalized after blast at IL silicon plant

A "catastrophic explosion" rocked a chemical plant in northern IL, killing at least one person with two missing and four hospitalized.

An unknown number of employees, likely less than five people, are still unaccounted for following the "catastrophic explosion" that hit around 9:30 p.m. local time, said Cmdr.

One person was found dead at the scene Saturday, Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said.

A "catastrophic explosion" left at least two people dead and others injured or unaccounted for at a silicone plant in IL on May 3, 2019.


Authorities have not identified the employees but Lenzi said it's unlikely the missing workers survived.

The fire has been extinguished, and hazardous materials technicians and other teams are on the scene and searching, Lenzi said.

The body of a worker who had been missing was recovered and handed over to the Lake County coroner, Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi told ABC News.

The cause of the explosion Friday night at the plant hasn't been determined. "The City of Waukegan has the full support of the Lake County Sheriff's Office, as they continue search-and-rescue operations, and their investigation". He said at least half of the building still needs to be searched.


AB Specialty Silicones, which owns the plant, manufactures and distributes various grades of silicone products, CBS Chicago reported. Four were taken to hospitals and two declined treatment. She also said a supervisor tried to warn people to get out of the building before the explosion. The company's general manager, Mac Penman, issued a statement Saturday saying: "We are shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred in our plant last night".

Waukegan is about 50 miles (80 kilmoters) north of Chicago.

Residents in the area said they heard the explosion and felt their homes shake. Lenzi said that there were no injuries to any emergency personnel.

Over 100 firefighters responded to the blast from at least 30 different fire departments, Lenzi said.


Nancy Carreno, who lives near the plant, told The Chicago Tribune the explosion didn't break any windows but it was loud. "We are working to determine the cause".

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