US officials investigating chem plant blast, fire in Illinois

03 June 2013 22:12  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US federal and local officials are investigating the cause of Sunday’s chemical plant explosion and fire that occurred at a Nova-Kem facility in northern Illinois, a chief deputy at the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday.

The incident occurred at about 12:30 Rockford time (17:30 GMT) on Sunday, resulting in the evacuation of Seward residents in the area surrounding the plant.

“The fire is no longer active – last I heard, it was smouldering,” said Scott Meyers, chief deputy. “This afternoon or evening, they will be allowing residents to come back to their houses.”

Officials from Rockford Hazmat, as well as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are at the scene to investigate the incident, Meyers said.

According to Nova-Kem’s website, the company produces hexachlorodisilane (HCDS), which is used in the production of semiconductor memory devices.

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By: Tracy Dang
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