Explosion at Illinois silicone plant leaves 4 injured, 3 missing

An explosion rocked parts of an Illinois city Friday night, leaving four humans injured and three others unaccounted for, authorities said.

The blast happened at AB Specialty Silicones in Waukegan, about 40 miles north of Chicago, police said. The company describes itself as a manufacturer of area of expertise silicone chemicals.

The “catastrophic explosion” hit around 9:30 p.m. nearby time, said Cmdr. Joe Florip, a Waukegan police spokesman.

Three employees are unaccounted for, Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said.

Florip stated he would “categorize this as a big explosion.”

“Many neighboring residences are going to have damage,” he said.

The furnace has been extinguished, and hazardous substances technicians and other groups are on the scene and searching, Lenzi said. No reason has been determined, and the country fireplace marshal will aid with an investigation, he said.

Florip said the plant used to be open at the time of the explosion.

Lenzi stated everybody affected was an employee working at the time. Four were taken to location hospitals with average to serious injuries, officials said. Two others had been viewed however requested no treatment.

Damage is estimated at more than $1 million, Lenzi said. The blast affected at least five  other  constructions nearby.

“Fire, police, and paramedic personnel are working diligently at this scene,” the Lake County Sheriff’s Office stated on Twitter. “Please stay out of the vicinity and let the first responders work.”

The office tweeted formerly it used to be aware of “a very loud explosion sound” and “ground shaking.”

“While we have not been notified of any precise danger, it is encouraged that local residents  continue to be inner with home windows closed with heat/air systems off at this time,” Illinois country Rep. Joyce Mason stated on Facebook.

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

Lenzi recalled one “fire instance” there over the closing 10 years. The plant has been “very responsive” and was once“safety cautious after the incident from the previous fire,” he said. “We have had no instances as a ways as code violations or some thing like that with the plant.”

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