1 dead, 1 injured in blast at Chicago area petroleum plant

Authorities are on the scene of a plant explosion in suburban Chicago on Tuesday.
Authorities are on the scene of a plant explosion in suburban Chicago on Tuesday.(Source: WLS/CNN)
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 12:26 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2023 at 3:33 PM EDT
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LEMONT, Ill. (AP) — An explosion and fire at a suburban Chicago petroleum refinery killed one person and injured a second Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office said one person was confirmed dead and a second was transported to a hospital in Joliet with injuries following the explosion at Seneca Petroleum in Lemont, Illinois.

Dan Tasso, chief of the Lemont Fire Protection District, said that aside from the fatality, one person suffered a minor injury.

He said his department received a call for assistance about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday and the fire at the plant was under control within about 40 minutes.

The sheriff’s office said the explosion brought down some power lines at the plant in Chicago’s southwestern suburbs.

“Initial reports indicate that the explosion may be from an asphalt tank. Fire personnel do not believe that any type of hazmat situation has occurred and there is no danger to the public,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

A number listed for Seneca Petroleum rang unanswered Tuesday afternoon.

Television footage of the scene showed damage to several circular tanks at the complex, with large pieces of debris on the ground and yellow railing hanging from more than one tank. Apparent power lines were also visible on top of a damaged pickup truck at the site, which is adjacent to railroad tracks and a roadway.

The Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration was called to the scene, as well as ComEd, the local utility, the sheriff’s office said.

Tasso said the Will County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Fire Marshal were also investigating the incident.

Lemont is a village located in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties southwest of Chicago.