WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — More than 100 people gathered to remember four men from Illinois and Wisconsin who died in a silicone-plant explosion.
The mourners congregated Friday morning along a chain-link fence outside the badly damaged AB Specialty Silicones factory north of Chicago, where the men were killed in a blast on May 3. Four wreaths of white flowers were placed on stands while people hugged and cried.
Those killed were 53-year-old Byron H. Biehn of Brighton Township, Wisconsin; 57-year-old Jeff Cummings of Kenosha; 24-year-old Daniel Nicklas of Beach Park, Illinois; and 29-year-old Allen Stevens of Salem, Wisconsin.
Howard Cooper, Lake County coroner, said the service was about healing but “I cannot lie, it’s hard.”
Mac Penman, general manager at the company, said he plans to rebuild and reopen the Waukegan plant. Penman told the crowd at the gathering “there will never be another normal workday.”
The blast is under investigation but fire officials have said they believe it was the result of an accident in factory processes.