Workers told firefighters that nine people were in the building at the time of the explosion, according to Waukegan Fire Marshall Steven Lenzi.
A "catastrophic explosion" left at least two people dead and others injured or unaccounted for at a silicone plant in IL on May 3, 2019. Lenzi says the two missing employees are also presumed dead.
He says crews have suspended their search for the other two workers due to concerns about the stability of the structure.
However, on Saturday, Lenzi confirmed the body of one of the missing employees had been discovered.
This was after one body was found at the explosion site, with two more believed to be missing.
Plant personnel determined nine people were in the building at the time.
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The Lake County Sheriff's office said on Twitter last night that it was aware of a "very loud explosion sound" and the "ground shaking". The search could not be continued in its current state and heavy equipment would need to be brought in to search for the remaining bodies.
Local media reports identified the plant as AB Specialty Silicones. Four workers were transported by ambulances to area hospitals, where one of them later died at the hospital. Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.
The explosion damaged at least five other buildings in the area and damage is estimated to be in excess of $1 million, Lenzi said. "We have had no instances as far as code violations or anything like that with the plant". "Silicone itself, not a hazardous substance", Lenzi said. The explosion happened near the Gurnee-Waukegan border, which is about 35 miles (56 km) north of Chicago.
Lenzi said in excess of 100 personnel were involved in putting out the fire and securing the scene.
"We have spent the day trying our best to support all of the members of our AB family as Wednesday attempt to process this bad loss together", he said.
Florip said he would "categorize this as a massive explosion". She said electricity flickered then came back on.