Explosion at IL silicone plant kills 1, leaves 2 missing

Explosion at IL silicone plant kills 1, leaves 2 missing

Four people were hospitalised after a "ground-shaking" explosion and fire broke out Friday night in an industrial complex in Lake County, Illinois.

The three were among nine employees who were inside AB Specialty Silicones in the Waukegan, about 80 kilometres north of Chicago, when the explosion occurred around 9:30 p.m. local time on Friday, Lenzi said.

"The conditions are really rough in there", said Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi after suspending the search. Four were taken to hospitals and two declined treatment.

Authorities indicated Saturday morning that the three people previously reported missing likely did not survive the explosion and fire.

However, on Saturday, Lenzi confirmed the body of one of the missing employees had been discovered.

Although two people are still unaccounted for, rescue teams have reportedly suspended operations due to structural instability at the plant, and chemical hazards. "We are working to determine the cause", the sheriff's office tweeted.

Residents throughout Lake County reported feeling and hearing the explosion and some even felt it from more than 10 miles away.

Employees were working inside the building at the time of the blast. There are contaminants in the building, but an evacuation order has not been issued for nearby residents.

"Many neighboring properties are going to have damage", he said. Firefighters were met with several injured workers and found heavy damage to the building, fire officials said.

The plant has been "very responsive" and was 'safety cautious after the incident from the previous fire, ' Lenzi said in a press conference.

Nancy Carreno, who lives on Atlantic Avenue near the plant, said the explosion didn't break any windows but it was loud.

Authorities later said they do not believe there is cause for concern about air quality or a need to shelter in place. 'We have had no instances as far as code violations or anything like that with the plant'.

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