Watch now: Explosion, large fire at northern Illinois chemical plant prompts evacuation of area | Local News

Watch now: Explosion, large fire at northern Illinois chemical plant prompts evacuation of area | Local News

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Chemical Explosion Illinois

Flames and smoke are seen from an explosion at a chemical plant in Rockton, Ill., Monday. 




They went to her mother’s house about two miles away. King then returned to the apartment to collect the family’s rabbit, Oreo. As she drove near the plant, King saw smoldering embers along the roadway, and there was “burned material” all over the yard of the apartment building, she said. The air had a chemical smell, she added.

“It was awful,” she said. “I’m terrified I won’t have a home to go back to.”

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staffers have arrived at the site and will conduct air monitoring and sampling, spokeswoman Rachel Bassler said Monday afternoon. They were coordinating with the Illinois EPA, which also was sending a team, according to spokeswoman Kim Biggs.






Chemical Explosion Illinois

An explosion at a chemical plant near the northern Illinois community of Rockton sparked a massive fire that sent flames and huge plumes of thick black smoke high into the air Monday morning.




The governor’s office said Pritzker had activated the State Emergency Operation Center to mobilize the emergency response, including the Illinois National Guard, State Fire Marshal, Illinois State Police, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the state’s health and transportation departments.

Rockton is located in Winnebago County, near the Wisconsin border, about 95 miles northwest of Chicago.

Associated Press writer John Flesher in Traverse City, Michigan, contributed to this report.

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