illinois Digital News

Chemtool fire chemical plant explosion

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A massive fire at a chemical plant in northern Illinois spurred the governor to deploy the National Guard to the area as local residents were evacuated. No injuries have been reported.

The industrial fire broke out early Monday morning at a lubricants plant operated by Chemtool, owned by a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The blaze, burning in Rockton, Illinois, continued to send a thick plume of black smoke into the sky in the late afternoon.

Residents are being evacuated within a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) radius from the plant and asked to wear face masks within a 3-mile radius as a precaution to protect themselves from the smoke, officials said during a press conference Monday. Governor J.B. Pritzker activated the state’s National Guard on Monday afternoon and deployed emergency vehicles to support local authorities.

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