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Illinois silicone plant explosion leaves three dead

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 5, 2019
An explosion and fire at an Illinois silicone factory was believed to have killed three people, authorities said Saturday, as they recovered the body of one victim while suspending the search for the other two.
Illinois plant explosion leaves three dead
America   Crews suspended their search due to concerns about the stability
Crews suspended their search due to concerns about the stability of the structure, and Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said they would not resume searching until what remains of the plant is torn down.

The three were among nine employees who were inside AB Specialty Silicones in the Waukegan, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Chicago, when the explosion occurred around 9:30 p.m. Friday, Lenzi said. Four were taken to hospitals and two declined treatment. Authorities have not identified the employees.

Lenzi said it’s unlikely the missing workers survived.

“The conditions are really rough in there,” Lenzi said. “There’s a lot of damage. There was a lot of fire throughout.”

The plant typically operates 24 hours a day, mixing chemicals and other materials to make silicone, he said.

The cause of the explosion has not been determined, Lenzi said. The state fire marshal is investigating, along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


 

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