Explosion, fire at Illinois plant

5:29 PM, Dec 13, 2013   |    comments
Firefighters were on the scene of a petrochemical plant fire in Blue Island on Friday. CBS
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +



CHICAGO -- A petrochemical plant explosion in Alsip, Ill., injured at least two people on Friday, reports CBS Chicago.

The blast caused a fire at the Blue Island Phenol. Views from the station's helicopter showed several firefighters pouring water on a fire inside a portion of the facility.

So far, the surrounding area had not been evacuated. The Eisenhower High School is located about a half-mile away, but classes were still in session there.

The extent of the injuries were not immediately known, but the two people, believed to be workers at the plant, suffered burns and were transferred to a nearby hospital, according to Mayor Domingo Vargas, from nearby Blue Island, Ill.

The plant manufactures acetone and phenol, an ingredient used to manufacture certain herbicides, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

In 2008, the company reached an agreement with the Illinois Attorney General's office following a fire at the facility, according to a statement from the AG's office at the time.

Under that agreement, the company agreed to hire a licensed engineering firm to analyze the cause of the accident and make needed repairs before it could resume production. The company also was required to assess soil and groundwater contamination caused by the runoff of water used to extinguish the fire.

The company said the fire erupted after a storm caused a power outage at the plant. Without power, cooling and circulation systems in the phenol unit failed, causing the temperature and pressure inside the phenol unit's oxidizers to rise, starting a chemical fire.

Check out some of our most read stories from 2013:

#shortyellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Terrorism Warning: Memo says terrorists practicing dry-runs on Florida flights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Courtroom apology: Woman apologizes for flipping off judge

Weird ice: Strange, giant circles appear on frozen pond

Controversial Club: College student organizes "White Student Union"

CFO Trouble: School administrative chief in trouble over her porn sex blog

Warning Shot Wife: Mother gets 20 years for firing warning shots at abusive husband

Science Arrest: Teen girl arrested over science project explosion

Wait, WHAT?? Dog shoots man in the leg with a handgun

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Most Watched Videos