1 dead, 2 missing in 'ground-shaking' plant explosion in IL

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A massive explosion in a silicon plant in northern IL sent at least four people to the hospital late Friday night.

Waukegan's fire marshal, Steven Lenzi, says at least three people are missing, with rescuers sifting through the rubble at the Lake County factory to see if they can find other victims, per NBC News.

A "catastrophic explosion" left at least two people dead and others injured or unaccounted for at a silicone plant in IL on May 3, 2019.

Lenzi said earlier Saturday it was "not likely" that any of the missing workers survived.

There is no concern for hazardous material being mixed in with debris. Officials were searching for second-shift workers who may have been in the building during the blast, Waukegan police Cmdr. Firefighters were met with several injured workers and found heavy damage to the building, fire officials said.

Plant personnel determined nine people were in the building at the time.

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"Fire, police, and paramedic personnel are working diligently at this scene", the Lake County Sheriff's Office tweeted. He says the coroner was on scene and crews are classifying the search as a recovery.

AB Specialty Silicones' general manager, Mac Penman, also issued a statement about the tragic blast. The four were taken to local hospitals, including two transported to Advocate Condell and two to Vista East. The state fire marshal and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.

'We are shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred in our plant last night, ' he stated, adding that the company is focusing on offering support to company employees and their families. The explosion happened near the Gurnee-Waukegan border, which is about 35 miles (56 km) north of Chicago.

Emergency crews from 30 agencies spanning Lake, Cook and Kenosha counties responded to the scene. "We are working to determine the cause".

Nancy Carreno, who lives near the plant, told The Chicago Tribune the explosion didn't break any windows but it was loud.

"It was leveled. It's right across from the emission testing station", she said, in reference to a state of IL facility.