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One person dead, another in a critical condition following US chemical explosion

24 January 2022

An explosion at a construction materials manufacturer killed one person and left another in a critical condition on January 21. The incident happened at a facility belonging to W.R. Meadows in Hampshire, northern Illinois while the two workers were cleaning a chemical tank.

The explosion happened at around 10:45 local time, the Hampshire fire department said. One person was pronounced dead at the scene while a second was airlifted to hospital where they were reported to be in a critical condition.

The W. R. Meadows building materials plant, where the incident happened, manufactures asphalt and concrete products. The two men had been cleaning the inside of a chemical tank when the explosion occurred. It is not known what chemicals had been kept in the tank or what caused the blast.

The explosion caused significant damage to the building while the local area was evacuated as a precaution. No fire was reported following the explosion, officials said. An investigation has been opened to determine the exact circumstances leading up to the incident.

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