One killed and one critically injured after explosion at facility in Illinois, US

Article by Amanda Doyle

AN explosion occurred at a facility that manufactures building materials on 21 January, killing one worker and leaving another critically injured.

The explosion occurred at 10:45 local time at the WR Meadows facility in Hampshire, Illinois, which manufactures concrete and asphalt products. The explosion was reportedly heard around 1.6 km away, according to ABC7 Chicago.

The Hampshire Fire Protection District reported that “on arrival the building had sustained significant damage” but added that the building’s fire suppression system had activated and there was no active fire. It said that the accidental explosion occurred due to “an electrical event in an explosive vapour atmosphere”.

Two workers had been cleaning a tank at the time of the explosion. It is currently unknown what chemical was in the tank. KWQC reported that the Kane County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased man as Wuilmer Gavigia. The identify of the injured man has not been released. No other injuries were reported.

According to CBS 2 Chicago, the building had two previous Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations.

WR Meadows said in a statement to CBS 2: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this incident. At this time, the scene has been secured and no further hazard exists to employees or the public. The investigation into the accident continues.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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