Industrial Plant Explosion Rocks Chicago Suburbs, 4 Injured

4 injured, 3 unaccounted for after explosion at Illinois silicone plant: reports

1 dead, 2 missing as 'ground-shaking’ explosion levels Illinois silicone plant (VIDEOS)

Three workers were missing on Saturday after an explosion at a silicone plant in a Chicago suburb that injured four other employees, a fire official said.

An explosion at the AB Specialty Silicones plant in Waukegan, north of Chicago, has left at least two people dead.

Four people were hospitalized Friday night. The condition of the other three workers in the hospital was not immediately known, Lenzi said.

On Saturday morning, officials confirmed to WLS-TV they have found one body.

Authorities are resuming their search for two bodies believed to be buried in the rubble of a northern IL silicone factory rocked by a massive explosion and fire.


The fire department said that they do not believe there is cause for concern about air quality or need for a shelter-in-place order, according to Local State Representative Joyce Mason.

Lenzi said everyone affected was an employee working at the time.

The Illinois EPA and many local Lake County fire departments assisted in the efforts to contain the incident.

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. Of the surviving employees, four were transported to area hospitals and two declined medical treatment.

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.


Lenzi said 90 percent of the main building was destroyed and there was damage, estimated at $1 million, to five buildings on the property.

Emergency personnel work at the scene of an explosion at AB Specialty Silicones on Sunset Ave. and Northwestern Ave. on the border between Gurnee, Ill., and Waukegan on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

Megan Hener, who lives six blocks from the scene told The Lake County New-Sun the explosion was "massive" and the "building was leveled". She said electricity flickered then came back on.

Florip said he would "categorize this as a massive explosion".

"We have spent the day trying our best to support all of the members of our AB family as Wednesday attempt to process this awful loss together", he said.


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