Authorities are evacuating residents who live within a one-mile radius of an Illinois chemical plant because of an explosion and fire that broke out Monday morning (June 14).
It happened at Chemtool Incorporated, on Prairie Hill Road in Rockton, around 7:30 a.m., according to WGN 9.
WTVO reports that the billowing smoke can be seen as far away as DeKalb.
Crews are still working to combat the blaze as of late Monday morning.
The Rockton Police Department issued an alert:
“Rockton Fire has ordered a mandatory evacuation due to a chemical fire. This notice affects all residents and businesses in a one mile radius of 1165 Prairie Hill Rd. Proceed to Stephen Mack Middle School. Avoid area in one mile radius.”
The agency initially instructed people to proceed to Stephen Mack Middle School on Old River Road, then shifted evacuees to Roscoe Middle School.
“We have confirmed all on site are safe and accounted for. Our concern right now is for the safety of all our employees and the surrounding community. As a precaution, authorities have evacuated residents in a one-mile radius of the site,” Chemtool told FOX 39 in a statement.
The Rockton Police Department stated Monday morning:
"The Fire at Chem Tool is still unfolding. We are actively evacuating those closest. We cannot respond to individual messages. If you are in the one mile radius, please evacuate. Stephen Mack School on Old River Rd. is the evacuation site if you have no where else to go. Please inform your neighbors that may not be onsocial media.And avoid the area.”
This is a developing story.