Another body found at Illinois plant; confirmed death toll 3


WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — Search and recovery personnel found the body of another worker Sunday in the rubble of a northern Illinois silicone factory that exploded and burst into flames two days earlier, bringing the death toll to three employees with one more body believed to be in the debris, a fire official said.

Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi told a news conference that the body was found as first responders resumed searching in hazardous conditions in the debris from the AB Specialty Silicones plant in Waukegan, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Chicago.

They were searching for the bodies of two of the nine workers who were there when an explosion rocked the building Friday night and left it a shattered skeleton.

It took recovery personnel two hours to bring out the body Sunday afternoon, Lenzi said in a statement. The search for the remaining body was called off Sunday evening and will resume on Monday, he said.

Of the nine employees in the building at the time of the blast, one body was found early Saturday. Four people were taken to the hospital and one of those died later Saturday. The condition of the other three workers in the hospital was not immediately known, Lenzi said. The third confirmed death was the body located Sunday with one other body still to recover. Two other workers did not require treatment at the time.

Trump Celebrates as He Gets Major Win from Supreme Court

The cause of the explosion hasn’t been determined, although Lenzi said it originated in the building where the silicone is produced.

“Most of the processes that they do are very non-hazardous. Silicone itself, not a hazardous substance,” Lenzi said. “Something … this weekend went horrifically wrong.”

AB Specialty Silicones makes specialty silicone chemical raw materials for products such as adhesives, sealants and coatings.

Lenzi said authorities have concluded that the explosion and fire were accidental.

“We are not looking at foul play.”

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.

Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper said that his office would perform autopsies Monday on at least two of the bodies and would announce the names of the victims and preliminary causes of death. Dental records would be used to identify at least one of the deceased, he said.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City