1 Found Dead, 2 Missing After AB Specialty Silicones Explosion at 3790 Sunset Avenue, Waukegan

Saturday morning after 9:50 a.m., May 4, 2019 Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi confirmed search and recovery crews recovered one body after a large explosion in Waukegan in Lake County Friday night. The loud explosion, heard and felt for miles, destroyed the building of AB Specialty Silicones, 3790 Sunset Avenue.

Apparently six people were met by firefighter/paramedics as fire equipment arrived on the scene to a report of the building explosion and fire at about 9:30 p.m. Friday May 4, 2019. Four people were confirmed to have been transported to hospitals. Two people were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center, and two people were transported to Vista East Medical Center. The other two people did not initially require treatment — even at the scene.

There were nine people working at the time of the explosion, and as of 5:05 a.m. there were three people missing. Officials, as of 9:50 a.m., confirmed one person was found dead, and two were still missing.

No evacuation or Shelter in Place order had been put in place as of 10:45 p.m. Friday; however, officials asked that people stay away from the area.

There were several vertical tanks and multiple chemical drums visible inside the building, visible through the shredded metal wall of the building.

A low-lying vapor cloud and a fountain of liquid or gas that almost looks like water can be seen on the west side of the building. The vapor cloud, is covering Northwestern Avenue. The identity of the substance was not initially released by fire officials.

Sand dikes were built to prevent contaminants from reaching the the Des Plaines River and Osprey Lake — both within 1.5 mi west of the scene.

The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating what may have cause the accident.

Nearby railways were also inspected for possible damage caused by the blast.

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