A massive explosion that destroyed a silicone plant rocked an Illinois city in Lake County on a recent Friday evening. Manufacturing accidents are often deadly, and this one claimed the lives of three workers, and another worker is missing and suspected to have been killed as well. Some of the surviving workers say those who died warned them to leave the building because they realized the imminent danger.
The yet unexplained explosion left only the skeleton of the plant standing, and rescue workers searched through the rubble for survivors. Of the nine workers who were in the building during the blast, two did not need medical treatment. Four others were rushed to a hospital where one succumbed to critical injuries. The body of one worker was recovered early on the day following the explosion.
Another body was recovered on Sunday, leaving one more worker unaccounted for. Rescuers continued to search for the remains of that worker. Investigators will work to determine what caused the explosion, and likely also the employer's compliance with safety regulations. The facility manufactures silicone raw materials that are used to make coatings, sealants and adhesives.
While nothing can make up for lives lost in manufacturing accidents, the surviving family members of the deceased worker can seek financial relief through the Illinois workers' compensation insurance system. An experienced attorney can help with the claims process to obtain death benefits to ease the burden of end-of-life expenses. Additional benefits might also provide a financial package to make up for lost wages and help with day-to-day living expenses.