Emergency Response Underway After Explosion Erupts at Petroleum Plant


An explosion at a petroleum plant in Illinois killed at least one person and injured another on Tuesday morning.

The explosion happened at Seneca Petroleum in Lemont, a suburb southwest of Chicago, according to WMAQ-TV.

The news outlet reported that multiple emergency crews responded to the incident around 9:30 a.m.

A second person was taken to the hospital after the explosion. WMAQ quoted Lemont Fire Protection Chief Daniel Tasso as saying that the injury was minor.

A news release from the Will County Sheriff’s Office was shared on Facebook at around 11 a.m., saying the department’s officers were at the scene of an explosion at the petroleum plant that had occurred within the previous hour.

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“One person is confirmed deceased, and a second individual has been transported to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet,” the release said.

“Multiple fire emergency personnel responded to the scene and at this time have controlled the fire.”

The explosion appears to have happened in an asphalt tank, according to the release.

“Fire personnel do not believe that any type of hazmat situation has occurred and there is no danger to the public.”

Some power lines were downed by the explosion, so the ComEd power company was called to the scene, as well as representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Lemont Fire posted a tweet calling it “an active incident” involving a tanker fire and advised residents to avoid the area, as some roads had been closed.

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WSAZ-TV reported that, based on TV news footage, several circular tanks at the complex were damaged, “with large pieces of debris on the ground and yellow railing hanging from more than one tank.”

“Apparent power lines were also visible on top of a damaged pickup truck at the site, which is adjacent to railroad tracks and a roadway.”

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.