One of the four employees hospitalized after Friday night’s plant explosion in northern Illinois has died, authorities said Saturday.
That brought the death toll to two in the blast at the AB Specialty Silicones plant in Waukegan, north of Chicago, with two other employees feared dead, according to reports.
Three other employees were injured in the explosion, the cause of which remains under investigation.
The employee who died in a hospital at 11:50 a.m. Saturday was identified as Allen Stevens, 29, of Salem, Wis., the Lake County News-Sun reported, citing information from the Cook County, Ill., medical examiner’s office.
None of the other employees has been identified.
On Saturday, plant general manager Mac Penman issued a statement: “We are shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred in our plant last night.”
The remains of the plant “looked like a wreckage scene from an apocalyptic movie,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported, adding that debris had scattered far from the site.
More than 100 emergency responders were working at the site, where the explosion had damaged at least five other buildings, the Sun-Times reported.
Nearby residents told local media outlets they were startled by the blast.
“The feeling was kind of indescribable,” resident Josette Jones told the Sun-Times. “The house was moving and the windows were rattling and all of a sudden the lights were going off and on.”
Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper said investigators halted their search for the missing employees because of concerns about the stability of the plant, which was heavily damaged, the newspaper reported.
Investigators were expected to continue their search Sunday, the report said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.