Smoke Shrouds Sky Over Illinois as Chemtool Plant Burns

Mandatory evacuations were ordered after an explosion and fire erupted at a chemical plant in Rockton, Illinois, on Monday morning, June 14, officials said.

Residents living within one mile of the explosion site on Prairie Hill Road were ordered to evacuate as crews from multiple departments responded to the scene.

Footage shared on Twitter shows the view of the smoke plume from Machesney Park, about 10 miles south of Rockton. Smoke was visible up to 50 miles away, according to reports.

According to a statement released by the Lubrizol Corporation, all Chemtool employees were safe and accounted for.

“We do not yet know what caused this incident, but we will be working with local authorities and with our own risk management team to determine what happened and identify any corrective actions. We will share more details as they are known,” the press release read.

Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson said in a press conference that the plant had been evacuated of approximately 70 employees prior to the fire department’s arrival on Monday morning. One firefighter was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Credit: @TheFastEddie83 via Storyful