Fourth Victim Found from IL Chem Plant Blast

Friday, May 10, 2019 @ 11:05 AM gHale

Aerial view of aftermath of the AB Specialty Silicones plant explosion in Waukegan, IL.

Crews have recovered the body of what is believed to be the final victim of an explosion at a northern Illinois silicone plant that left four workers dead.

Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi said the body was recovered late Tuesday from the rubble of the AB Specialty Silicones factory in Waukegan, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Chicago.

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Victims of last Friday’s blast are 57-year-old Jeff Cummings of Kenosha, Wisconsin and 53-year-old Byron H. Biehn of Brighton Township, Wisconsin, 24-year-old Daniel Nicklas of Beach Park, Illinois, and 29-year-old Allen Stevens of Salem, Wisconsin.

The four victims were among nine employees who were inside AB Specialty Silicones in Waukegan, about 50 miles north of Chicago, when the explosion occurred around 9:30 p.m. Friday, Lenzi said. Four were taken to hospitals and two declined treatment.

The blast was heard miles away and the force shredded the plant, leaving little more than the skeleton of the building standing.

The plant typically operates 24 hours a day, mixing chemicals and other materials to make silicone, he said.

Lenzi has said there is no evidence of foul play and the explosion appears to be the result of an accident within the processes at the factory.



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