Explosion at AB Specialty Silicones Factory in Waukegan, Illinois, Injures 4

Explosion at AB Specialty Silicones Factory in Waukegan, Illinois, Injures 4

Explosion at AB Specialty Silicones Factory in Waukegan, Illinois, Injures 4

An explosion and fire at an IL silicone factory claimed a second victim Saturday when an employee taken to a hospital after the blast died, a local coroner confirmed, and the official death toll is expected to rise to four as authorities suspended the search for two other bodies believed to be in the rubble.

CNN reports the blast at AB Specialty Silicones, which authorities say happened around 9:30pm local time, also left others unaccounted for.

The conditions of the those taken to the hospital had not been released, Waukegan fire Chief Steven Lenzi told the news station.

Four people have been hospitalized, according to the Chicago Tribune, after an explosion at a silicone factory in Gurnee, a suburb to the north of Chicago.

Lenzi said later Saturday one of the victims transported to a hospital from the scene succumbed to their injures and died.

He says crews have suspended their search for the other two workers due to concerns about the stability of the structure.

Of the nine employees in the building, one body was found early Saturday. Personnel are focusing on recovery after ending the search for the two missing workers because of structural instability and chemical concerns.

The cause of the explosion hasn't been determined. Nine employees were inside the plant at the time. The Lake County Coroner's Office has officials at the scene. Two others were seen but requested no treatment.

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

The explosion damaged at least five other buildings in the area and damage is estimated to be in excess of $1 million, Lenzi said. The state fire marshal is investigating, along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. "We have had no instances as far as code violations or anything like that with the plant". The plant was open at the time of the explosion, he said. Lenzi said that there were no injuries to any emergency personnel.

Employee Monique Lindstrom, who works in accounting, said she heard something that "didn't sound right" Friday night. "We are working to determine the cause", the sheriff's office said.

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