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Homewood Park Closed After Crews Dig Up Chemical Containers

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HOMEWOOD, Ill. (CBS) – A park in south suburban Homewood has been closed off, after construction workers found chemical containers buried nearby.

WBBM Newsradio’s Veronica Carter reports construction crews were excavating at an old Nike anti-aircraft missile site near Apollo Park, at 190th and Halsted streets, when they dug up containers that once held a chemical used in rocket fuel.

Homewood Fire Chief Bob Grabowski said the park was closed as a precaution.

“It doesn’t appear that there would be any product there, but the cans that were there were a dangerous chemical from many years ago, and we just want to make sure that the area is safe before they start disposing of it,” he said.

The cans had contained dimethylhydrazine, which is a highly flammable, colorless rocket fuel additive. An anti-aircraft missile site had been located next to the park, but was deactivated in 1974.

Hazmat teams checked out the containers, and found only residue of the chemical, and posed no danger.

The crews had been working on construction of an addition to the U.S. Army Reserve base nearby.

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