Authorities have recovered the body of one person following an explosion and fire at an IL factory.
The blast erupted at the AB Specialty Silicones plant in Waukegan at 9:45pm last night, "leveling" the structure. Of the surviving employees, four were transported to area hospitals and two declined medical treatment.
Hazardous materials technicians and other specialist crews are also at the scene to assist local emergency responders.
However by 11:30am, officials confirmed that the bodies of two other employees who were previously reported missing had been recovered.
Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said crews suspended their search for two employees due to concerns about the stability of the structure.
The cause of the explosion is still unknown.
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"It's just not safe to operate", Lenzi said.
Lenzi reported that the first arriving crews "were quickly overwhelmed" by flames at the plant, which is on the city's far northwest side near its border with Gurnee.
Anthony Madonia, an attorney for AB Specialty Silicones, said one of the men who did not make it out of the plant was a partial owner of the company.
The office tweeted earlier that it was aware of "a very loud explosion sound", and "ground shaking".
About 20 minutes later, a followup post from the sheriff's office alerted the public to "stay out of the area of Sunset Avenue from Green Bay to Delany, Waukegan!"
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The plant is directly across from an emissions testing facility, a witness told the newspaper.
"I live in Antioch, 17.1 miles away and it shook my entire house", wrote one person on social media.
IL state Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, wrote on Facebook that employees of an unspecified business were inside the building at the time of the explosion, citing information she said she received from Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham.
"It was leveled. It's right across from the emission testing station", she said, in reference to a state of IL facility.
Florip said he would "categorize this as a massive explosion". She said electricity flickered then came back on.
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