Four injured in Pekin facility explosion

By WEEK Producer

March 19, 2013 Updated Mar 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- Four employees were injured Tuesday afternoon in an explosion that damaged a Pekin facility.

By the time Pekin police and fire fighters got to the Enviro-Safe refrigerants plant in the 100 block of Caroline there was no fire but the building was visibly damaged by the blast with one wall and part of the roof collapsed.

Four employees were transported to OSF St. Francis Medical Center with varying degrees of burns.

Two of the injured, a 50-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman, were life-flighted to the burn unit at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.

A 52-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman remain at OSF St. Francis. The man is listed in serious condition, the woman in fair condition. Both are being treated for various burns and inhalation injuries.

The original call to police was that a building had collapsed. Some of the building's South-east side and roof fell onto nearby railroad tracks.

Tuesday evening, the walls of the old building were partially demolished to prevent them from falling onto nearby railroad tracks.

"The walls are pushed out. The structure is not sound. It's still moving actually," said Deputy Fire Chief Brian Cox. "We have, obviously, the main line of the railroad tracks shut down because of debris."

The Pekin Fire Chief said he may be able to determine a cause for the fire after reviewing closed circuit video from inside the plant providing that the video survived the explosion.

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