Identity Released of Final Missing Man Killed in Explosion at AB Specialty Silicones in Waukegan

Daniel Nicklas
Daniel Nicklas. (SOURCE: Family photo).

The identity was released of the fourth victim — the last of three victims recovered in the ruins of the AB Specialty Silicones factory explosion — on Wednesday May 8, 2019 in a statement by the Lake County Coroner’s Office. One man died after he was able to evacuate the building and after surviving for 12 hours in the Burn Unit at Loyola University Medical Center. Three men died and were missing in the ruins. Daniel Nicolas was recovered late Tuesday May 7, 2019. Officials confirmed on Wednesday May 8, 2019 that the fourth body had been recovered. All victim identities were confirmed by dental records.

The four men will be honored Friday May 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. with a memorial service near the site of the ruins at the northeast corner of Sunset Avenue and Northwestern Avenue in Waukegan.

Byron Biehn, 53, of Union Grove, Wis., was a second shift production supervisor who worked for AB Specialty Silicones for nine years, and was a part owner of the company.

Jeff Cummings, 57, of Kenosha was a third shift production supervisor who had worked for AB Specialty Silicones for seven years.

Allen Stevens, 29, of Paddock Lake, Wisconsin, was a second shift chemical operator who worked for AB Specialty Silicones for two years. Stevens was also a part owner.

Daniel Nikolas, 24, of Beach Park, was a quality control chemist and worked for AB Specialty Silicones only eight months.

“The families have asked us to convey their wishes for privacy at this difficult time, but they join us in again expressing gratitude for the incredible efforts of the Waukegan Fire Department and Chief George Bridges Jr., and the Lake County Coroner’s office and Dr. Howard Cooper.”

— Mac Penman, General Manager AB Specialty Silicones

Friday’s memorial service will honor the victims and the heroic first responders of the Waukegan Fire Department and Waukegan Police Departments that first responded to the fatal explosion about 9:30 p.m. Friday May 3, 2019, according to AB Specialty Silicones General Manager Mac Penman. Next will be the funerals for the individual men, which have not yet been announced.

Daniel Nicklas
Daniel Nicklas. (SOURCE: Family photo).

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