The Lake County Coroner on Wednesday May 8, 2019 said the remains of the final missing victim of the AB Specialty Silicones explosion on Friday May 3, 2019 at about 9:30 p.m. were found under the ruins late Tuesday night. Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper initially only identified the victim as a male. The discovery of the final missing man confirmed that four men were killed in the explosion.
Two other people were killed inside the plant. Jeff Cummings, 57, of Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Byron Biehn, 53, of Brighton Township, Wisconsin were the two victims previously found in the ruins. The three men that were found inside the plant are described as heroes because they tried to make sure everyone was evacuating the building after danger inside the plant was detected.
Allen Stevens, of Salem, Wisconsin, escaped the building alive, but suffered burn injuries and died at the Burn Unit at the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois about 12 hours after the explosion.
Friday’s explosion at 9:30 p.m. destroyed the AB Specialty Silicones plant, and efforts to determine the cause of the explosion are a “collaborative effort” involving the Waukegan Fire Department, the Illinois Fire Marshal, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
Officials revealed Tuesday May 7, 2019 that it could take up to a month to determine the cause of the fatal explosion.
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