Three workers missing after Chicago-area plant explosion

Saul Bowman
Мая 6, 2019

The explosion happened at AB Silicones in Waukegan on Friday night, police said. Joe Florip, a Waukegan police spokesman.

"I live in Antioch, 17.1 miles away and it shook my entire house", wrote one person on social media. Fire officials recovered one body Saturday.

The search for the two people who remain missing has been suspended and will resume at 9 a.m. local time tomorrow, Lenzi said.

The damage from the explosion is estimated to be more than one million US dollars, Steve Lenzi, spokesman for the Waukegan Fire Department, said in a statement.

The 30,000-square foot (2,800 square meters) plant operated around the clock, Lenzi said, and most of the chemicals on site were used to produce silicone.

"The conditions are really rough in there", said Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi after suspending the search. One fatality has been confirmed, two people are missing and four others were injured in the blast.

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Lenzi says it's "not likely" anyone survived the Friday night explosion at AB Specialty Silicones in the community 50 miles north of Chicago. Nine employees were inside the plant at the time. Two other workers declined treatment at the time of the blast.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office told residents it was aware of the "very loud explosion sound" and "ground shaking", but deferred questions to the Waukegan Fire Department. Four were taken to area hospitals with moderate to serious injuries, officials said.

Authorities later said they had no concern about air quality or a need to shelter in place.

Objects including large steel beams were subject to strong winds, and the building's insurance is working to obtain equipment to remove some of the heavy debris so the search can resume. At least five nearby buildings were also damaged. The state fire marshal is investigating, along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Megan Hener, who lives six blocks from the scene told The Lake County New-Sun the explosion was "massive" and the "building was leveled".

Emergency crews from 30 agencies spanning Lake, Cook and Kenosha counties responded to the scene.

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