Waukegan Officials Provide Updates on Fatal Explosion

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2019-05-04 23:35:54

Authorities are continuing to investigate a massive explosion at a suburban plant that killed two workers and left two others missing and presumed dead this evening.

According to a new update from the City of Waukegan, the search for those missing individuals has been suspended for the evening due to darkness, and will resume Sunday morning.

Officials are now providing new updates on the blast, which sent debris flying in all directions from the AB Specialty Silicones plant in the 3700 block of Sunset Avenue in suburban Waukegan.

The explosion has claimed the lives of at least two individuals, according to authorities. One victim was pulled from the rubble at the building and was pronounced dead at the scene. Another victim, identified as 29-year-old Allen Stevens of Salem, WI, was taken to the Loyola University Medical Center after the blast, and was pronounced dead on Saturday afternoon.

Community Mourns After Waukegan ExplosionCommunity Mourns After Waukegan Explosion

Two more workers are still believed to be missing at the site, and are presumed dead, according to police.

A total of four workers were taken to area hospitals, with Stevens passing away Saturday afternoon.

Heavy equipment remains on the scene as workers try to dismantle the debris to make it safe for rescue workers to search for the missing individuals.

Officials say that when firefighters arrived at the scene, they noted heavy damage and a massive fire. Rescue workers also encountered injured workers from the plant and transported them to local hospitals. Other neighboring fire departments were called in to help battle the massive fire.

An investigator from the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office has been at the scene to evaluate the cause of the explosion, but has not released any findings at this time.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has also announced that after extensive air quality and water monitoring tests that there is no danger posed to the public by the aftermath of the explosion. OSHA investigators have also been called to evaluate the incident.

 “We are shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred in our plant last night,” AB Speciality Silicones GM Mac Penman said in a statement. “We have spent the day trying our best to support all of the members of our AB family as we attempt to process this terrible loss together.

“We want to express our extreme gratitude to all the first responders who arrived at the scene. We continue to work closely with the Waukegan Fire Department and the Illinois Fire Marshal as they secure the scene and complete their investigation,” he added.

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