Alsip Refinery Explosion: Blue Island Phenol Fire Reported in Illinois

December 13, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

 A possible explosion was reported at the Blue Island Phenol plant in Alsip, located near Chicago. The plant is currently on fire.

It is unclear if there were any injuries. The Chicago Sun-Times said that there might be some people who suffered burns following the reported blast.

ABC reported that smoke was pouring out of the chemical plant.

Emergency crews are on the scene of the fire, located at the 3400-block of 131st Street.

“Alsip, IL Hazmat response for explosion and fire at plant with burned patients,” wrote Firefighter Nation on Twitter.

“There are reports of an explosion at an Alsip plant on 131st St. We are working to confirm,” said the Southtown Star on Twitter.

Phenol, known as carbolic acid, is highly volatile and can cause burns. It is used in polycarbonates, epoxies, nylon, detergents, herbicides, and pharmaceutical drugs.

“Phenol is highly irritating to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes in humans after acute (short-term) inhalation or dermal exposures. Phenol is considered to be quite toxic to humans via oral exposure. Anorexia, progressive weight loss, diarrhea, vertigo, salivation, a dark coloration of the urine, and blood and liver effects have been reported in chronically (long-term) exposed humans,” reads a warning from the Environmental Protection Agency, which lists phenol as a hazardous material.

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