Dead, 2 Missing in Illinois Silicone Plant Explosion

Dead, 2 Missing in Illinois Silicone Plant Explosion

Search and recovery personnel found the body of another worker Sunday in the rubble of a northern IL silicone factory that exploded and burst into flames two days earlier, bringing the death toll to three employees with one more body believed to be in the debris, a fire official said.

Two people have been confirmed dead after an explosion at a Chicago chemical plant on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the search for the other two missing workers was suspended due to intense structural damage.

The fire has been extinguished, and hazardous materials technicians and other teams were on the scene Saturday, Lenzi said.

The body of a worker who had been missing was recovered and handed over to the Lake County coroner, Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi told ABC News. No cause has been determined, and the state fire marshal will assist with an investigation, he said.

He said everyone affected was an employee working at the time. AB Specialty Silicones said in a press release earlier this year that it expanded its corporate campus in Waukegan to four buildings with more than 240,000 square feet (22,297 square meters) housing headquarters, manufacturing, research and development and warehouses. Four workers were transported by ambulances to area hospitals, where one of them later died at the hospital.

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The company, AB Specialty Silicones, manufactures and distributes various grades of silicone products, CBS Chicago reports.

Florip said he would "categorize this as a massive explosion". "We have had no instances as far as code violations or anything like that with the plant". Lenzi said that there were no injuries to any emergency personnel.

Lenzi said in excess of 100 personnel were involved in putting out the fire and securing the scene.

Nine employees were inside the plant when the explosion occurred around 9:30 p.m. Friday at AB Specialty Silicones in Waukegan, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Chicago.

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. "We are working to determine the cause". She said electricity flickered then came back on.

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