In a massive Chicago plant explosion on Friday, two people were injured and there was a considerable amount of damage. The explosion also caused a fire to break out at the Blue Island Phenol, where the incident took place.
The station’s CCTV cameras show firefighters directing water onto the flames in one section of the facility in an effort to get the blaze under control. The surrounding areas did not need to be evacuated, and classes at local schools continued as normal.
The two injured people were workers at the plant. The full extent of their injuries is not known at this time, but they suffered burns and were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The Blue Island Plant manufactures acetone and phenol, which is used in some herbicides, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. This isn’t the first incident at the plant; back in 2008, a large fire broke out, causing extensive damage.
Following the 2008 fire, the company entered into an agreement with Illinois Attorney General’ office. Under that agreement, the company hired an engineering firm to ascertain the cause of the explosion.
The company then implemented all of the recommendations suggested by the engineers and carried out the necessary repairs. The company was also required at the time to assess soil and groundwater contamination as a result of the fires.
The company said the fire started following a storm which had caused a power outage. As a result of the lack of power, the vital circulation systems in the phenol unit failed, causing the temperatures to rise. Nevertheless, it is not known what led to that happening.
It remains to be seen what the exact cause of the latest Chicago plant explosion was and, more importantly, what steps will be taken by the owners of the plant to ensure that another similar incident does not occur in the future.