Search Continues for Worker Missing After Deadly Waukegan, Illinois Plant Explosion
Days after a deadly explosion killed three employees at a Waukegan, Illinois silicone plant, efforts to locate the remains of a fourth worker presumed to have died in the disaster continue.
3 Wisconsin Men Confirmed Dead After Waukegan Plant Explosion
The missing man was among nine employees onsite last Friday evening, when one of four buildings located on the AB Specialty Silicones campus in Waukegan suddenly erupted in flames around 9:30 p.m.
Paramedics rushed five people to area hospitals, including two who declined treatment.
Sadly, a 29-year-old man from Kenosha County, Wisconsin, did not survive the weekend. He died Saturday morning at the Loyola Medical Burn Center in Mayfield, Illinois.
Crews recovered the remains of two other Kenosha County men, ages 56 and 53, over the weekend.
Slow and Methodic Search Underway for Missing Worker
Authorities have yet to identify the third worker reported missing after the Waukegan plant explosion, but local media outlets indicate he was a resident of Illinois.
A four-member specialty team leading the effort to locate his remains had examined about 75% of the concentrated search area by late Monday afternoon. According to Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi, hazardous conditions at the site and the need to preserve evidence have forced the team to proceed at a slow and methodic pace.
“We are systematically moving piece by piece,” he said.
Evacuation Began Moments Before AB Specialty Silicones Explosion
So far, there’s no word on what might have caused the deadly Waukegan plant explosion. It appears, however, that managers knew something was amiss and began evacuating the facility just moments before the blast.
“We had nine people in a building that’s totally destroyed,” Lenzi noted. “We had five people that survived a massive explosion. There were heroes involved that got these people to safety.”
Various media outlets have reported that the three men trapped in the explosion were among those urging others to flee. But so far, authorities have not confirmed those accounts.
Investigation Into Waukegan Plant Explosion Could Take Weeks
For now, investigators are focused on the chemical mixing process, something that occurred around-the-clock before the facility was leveled last Friday.
“Something in the process went wrong,” Lenzi revealed. “There was something building up in one of the processes that then went wrong.”
He indicated that a final determination could take anywhere from a week to a month.
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