1 dead, 4 others injured after factory explosion near Chicago

The explosion occurred at an industrial park in Waukegan Illinois

Three workers were missing on Saturday after an explosion at a silicone plant in a Chicago suburb that injured four other employees, a fire official said.

An unknown number of employees, likely less than five people, are still unaccounted for following the "catastrophic explosion" that hit around 9:30 p.m. local time, said Cmdr.

Lenzi said that from information they have gleaned in the preliminary investigation, some of the employees realized something was wrong and alerted others to get out of the building just before the explosion.

Authorities believe three people missing after an explosion and fire at an IL plant are dead.

The fire has been extinguished, and hazardous materials technicians and other teams are on the scene and searching, Lenzi said.

Hours later, another worker who was inside the factory at the time of the blast died in hospital, where they were being treated for injuries.

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Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said it may be days before crews can go back in and continue recovery efforts.

The blast was heard miles away and the force shredded the plant, leaving little more than the skeleton of the building standing. He said at least half of the building still needs to be searched. The four were taken to local hospitals, including two transported to Advocate Condell and two to Vista East.

AB Specialty Silicones in Waukegan after Friday night's explosion. Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.

Authorities said the explosion damaged 90 percent of the plant, causing severe structural damage that is estimated to cost more than $1 million. "We are working to determine the cause". The explosion happened near the Gurnee-Waukegan border, which is about 35 miles (56 km) north of Chicago.

"Our first responders again answered the call, putting themselves in danger, to help rescue victims involved in the explosion", said the sheriff, noting last week hundreds of Lake County first-responders answered dealt with a major chemical leak elsewhere.

"It was leveled. It's right across from the emission testing station", she said, in reference to a state of IL facility.

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