Evacuations Ordered After Explosion and Fire at Chemical Plant in Rockton, Illinois

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 livestreamed to Facebook shows the dark plume of smoke billowing from the site of the fire in Rockton, about 100 miles northwest of Chicago. Smoke was visible several 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: Peavy J Michael via Storyful