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Updated: Seward Residents Cleared To Go Home

Authorities have cleared Seward residents to return to their homes Monday afternoon.

Residents in Seward waited to go home this morning as agencies assess the danger level after a plant explosion Sunday.

The Nova-Kem chemical processing plant caught fire around 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.  The town was evacuated while authorities rushed to get the fire under control. 

An emergency shelter was set up for evacuees at Pecatonica High School.  The Red Cross provided cots for sleeping.  Some residents spent the night at the Radisson hotel in Rockford.

Numerous test inside and outside the building show no toxic chemicals in the air or water.


Pecatonica Fire Chief Steve Van Vleck says "well the insurance company is coming on site hopefully tonight, and were' gonna get a clean up crew probably in there tomorrow. Again we're still monitoring the air sample but most of it is dissipated according to Rockford Hazmat so it should be nothing left there on site that could hurt anybody."

There were four Nova-Kem employees inside the plant during the explosion. One was treated and released for a possible back injury.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

Any returning residents who may feel sick are being to go to the emergency room immediately.

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