Two workers were missing Thursday after an explosion and fire at an industrial complex killed one person, injured 10 others and caused the temporary evacuation of 2,000 residents, authorities said.
The explosion occurred Wednesday afternoon at Traco Inc., a plastics manufacturer, and the fire spread to about 20 adjoining businesses at the Coleman Industrial Complex, said fire department Lt. Jack Jordan."You know how roofs blow off in the cartoons? I just happened to look out my window and the roof blew 120 feet in the air. It threw parts everywhere," said Mitchell Priest, a recruit at the nearby Great Lakes Naval Training Station.
The industrial park in this suburb 35 miles north of Chicago contains several paint and plastics manufacturing companies. The fire burned toxic chemicals, including chlorine, polyvinyl chloride and polystyrene, said Will Flower of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
At one point, 2,000 people were evacuated because of fear of toxic fumes, but they returned by 10 p.m., Jordan said. They were advised to keep their doors and windows shut.
The blaze was brought under control about 8:30 p.m., and three hours later emergency crews discovered the body of an unidentified man. Two other people, believed to be Traco employees, were missing, Jordan said.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.
One of the injured was in serious condition suffering from facial burns, smoke inhalation and cuts at St. Therese Medical Center in Waukegan, said Joanne Johnson, a hospital spokeswoman.
Nine others, including four firefighters, had less serious injuries, hospital officials said.