Ten people have been inured in an explosion at the Chicago Water Reclamation Plant on August 30, 2018. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MRWD) of Greater Chicago issued a statement saying that the explosion at the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant occurred in the sludge concentration building.
At least two people were buried under the wreckage after part of the roof of the building collapsed. Chicago firefighters and paramedics combed through the rubble, looking for injured people and pulling them to safety. All of the injured people were taken to area hospitals. The extent of their injuries varied, but Larry Merritt, spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, described them as “serious-to-critical.”
Fire officials told abc7 Eyewitness News that workers were working on a large tank. They were supposed to be using an impact wrench, but were using a torch instead. The flame from the torch ignited a build-up of methane gas, which is created during the water treatment process.
The Chicago Fire Department said the cause of the explosion at the Chicago Water Reclamation Plant was accidental and was the result of human error. OSHA and the MRWD are investigating.
The day after the explosion, all but two of the workers have been treated by local hospitals and released. Of the two who are still in the hospital, one is in Fair condition, and the other in Serious condition.
Water Reclamation (also called “wastewater reuse” or “water recycling”) is part of the sewage treatment process. It recycles wastewater so it can be re-used for other purposes, as part of sustainable water management.
The Calumet plant is located in Chicago’s south side, at 430 East 130th Street.
Chicago Water Reclamation Plant Explosion Illustrates Industrial Hazards
It is astonishing that something as minor as using a wrong tool could affect so many people’s lives. But when a methane gas build-up meets an ignition source, injuries and damages happen very quickly.
Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman, of the Pritzker Hageman law firm, are compassionate and experienced attorneys who fight for the rights of people who have been injured in fires or explosions. They will fight to protect your legal rights, and to obtain compensation for your medical bills, injury expenses, and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one have been injured, and are wondering if you have a legal case, call us at 1-888-377-8900 and find out. Or just fill out and send in the online contact form. Both options are free, and there is no obligation.
D’Onofrio, Jessica, Rivera, Mark. “Workers used torch before explosion, collapse at water reclamation plant on Far South Side, CFD says.” Abc7 Eyewitness News, August 31, 2018.
Watts, Amanda, Levenson, Eric. “Chicago water plant collapses after explosion, injuring 10.” CNN, August 30, 2018.
“The Latest: 10 injured in Chicago explosion, roof collapse.” Associated Press, August 30, 2018.
Scarsi, Alice. “Chicago explosion: Water plant roof COLLAPSES as fire rips through building.” Sunday Express, August 30, 2018.
“Reclaimed Water.” Wikipedia, August 29, 2018.