Massive explosion at Waukegan silicone plant rocks northern suburbs

WAUKEGAN, Ill. — At least four people were hospitalized following a massive explosion at a Waukegan silicone plant Friday night.

The blast went off about 9:30 p.m. Friday at AB Specialty Silicones, a silicone plant housed at an industrial facility in the 3700 block of Sunset Avenue, according to Waukegan fire and police officials.

Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said four people were hospitalized following the explosion, which caused heavy damage that decimated the building. Details on people's conditions were not immediately available.

Police Cmdr. Joseph Florip late Friday said an "active search and rescue" operation was still underway at the site.

The impact of the explosion was felt in several neighboring towns with residents reporting loud booms and rumbles. WGN received multiple calls from concerned viewers; photos and videos were shared widely on social media.

First responders from multiple agencies across Lake County were on hand at the scene late Friday into Saturday morning.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

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