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Explosion, Building Collapse Traps Several People At South Side Water Treatment Plant

The explosion happened shortly before 11 a.m. in the 400 block of East 130th Street.

Arvell Dorsey Jr./Flickr
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CHICAGO — Several people were trapped and injured after an explosion and building collapse at a Water Reclamation treatment plant on the Far South Side Thursday.

Shortly before 11 a.m., there was an explosion and a building in the 400 block of East 130th Street partially collapsed, said Larry Merritt, a Chicago Fire spokesman. Several people were hospitalized.

“There has been an explosion in the sludge concentration building at the Calumet water reclamation plant,” the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which runs the treatment plant, said.

“There are injuries. Emergency crews are on the scene. We have no addition information at this time.”

Several people were temporarily trapped under the building’s rubble. Additional manpower was called in to get through the rubble, Merritt said.

The Fire Department told news channels to move their helicopters away from the scene, saying in a tweet that the helicopters were “creating problems” hearing for people who might still be trapped under the rubble.

 The treatment center site has been in operation since 1922.