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Firefighters Battle Blaze At Chemical Plant Near Minooka

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(AP File Photo)

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MINOOKA, Ill. (WBBM) — Firefighters battled an apparent explosion and fire Thursday night at a Grundy County chemical plant. 

The explosion occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday at Akzo Nobel plant, near Minooka.  

A WBBM news tipster who drove by the plant shortly after the explosion occurred said thick, black smoke was rising from the plant and that the smoke emitted a noxious smell.

The plant makes chemicals that, when mixed with water or other solvents, change the properties of materials. For example, laundry products contain these chemicals to remove dirt and stains and make your clothing soft to the touch, according to the company’s web site.

A Grundy County Sheriff’s Police dispatcher said she had no reports of injuries and said no evacuations had been ordered.  The Morris and Minooka Fire Departments were called to the scene, but neither could report the extent of damage or other problems early.

A small fire and minor explosion, triggered by a power outage, resulted in the evacuation of about 100 nearby residents May 29.  Media reports indicated that a lightning strike shut down compressors, causing pressure in a tank to increase, creating the possibility of an explosion.     

No one was hurt in the May incident.

Surrounding plants were also shut down in May.