ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — Tuesday marked one year since fire crews battled massive flames after the Chemtool plant explosion.
On June 14th, 2021, investigators found a contractor hit a pipe that spilled oil that caught fire.
About 70 employees were working at the time but were able to evacuate.
There were dozens of explosions and smoke was visible from many miles away.
Rockton residents within one mile of the plant were forced to evacuate their homes for four days.
“The important thing is and not only for our fire department, but for the fire departments all over the nation, that’s it’s important to know your areas and the areas you cover to ensure what you’re doing, in case there is some sort of catastrophic emergency, what you’re doing is not only in the best interest of your community, but it’s in the best interest in the safety of your personnel,” said Fire Chief Kirk Wilson.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley have filed a lawsuit against Chemtool, claiming the company put the public’s health and welfare in danger.
The lawsuits are calling for Chemtool to pay for any damages and cover the costs the State and County have incurred responding to the incident.