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A Quiet Friday Night, Then a 'Catastrophic' Blast

4 injured, others unaccounted for after explosion at silicone factory in Waukegan, Illinois
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2019 6:30 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/DedMityay)

(Newser) – At least four people were sent to the hospital after what police are calling a "catastrophic" explosion at a factory in Waukegan, Ill. CNN reports the blast at AB Specialty Silicones, which authorities say happened around 9:30pm local time, also left others unaccounted for. Waukegan's fire marshal, Steven Lenzi, says at least three people are missing, with rescuers sifting through the rubble at the Lake County factory to see if they can find other victims, per NBC News. It's been reported those who were hurt suffered moderate to serious injuries.

The Lake County Sheriff, which initially received reports of "a very loud explosion sound and ground shaking in the Gurnee area," asked locals to stay away from the scene while firefighters, cops, and paramedics tended to it. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of all involved in this horrific incident," Lenzi said in a statement. "Our personnel worked tirelessly through the night to control this scene with help from many neighboring agencies. This was a very large-scale team effort." After assessing the scene, authorities say they don't believe locals need to worry about air quality issues. (Read more explosion stories.)

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