While 2020 seemed to be the year of the natural disaster, with both a viral pandemic and murder hornets attempting to cull the human heart over the course of the last year, 2021 appears to be the year of the manmade disaster.
First, there’s the aforementioned coronavirus crisis, which is now beginning to look more and more like a laboratory leak than a freak transference from bat to man.
Then there’s China’s unwillingness to admit that one of their nuclear facilities is leaking radiation, despite a number of international agencies declaring it so.
Now, in Northern Illinois, a massive chemical plant is on fire, forcing miles of evacuations and even prompting a call-up of the National Guard.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has activated the State Emergency Operation Center to help coordinate the response to a massive chemical fire at a plant in Winnebago County.
The fire, which forced the evacuation of residents within a two-mile radius of the Chemtool lubricant manufacturing facility in Rockton, could potentially burn for days, according to officials.
Pritzker announced Monday that personnel from a slew of state agencies and departments, including the Illinois Emergency Management Association, State Police, the Illinois National Guard and the Department of Public Health, have been activated and are participating in the response to the fire.
Footage of the incident quickly spread across social media.
Residents within a one-mile radius of an Illinois chemical plant were evacuated from their homes and businesses after an explosion and fire erupted at the plant. https://t.co/nZUdMYnrt0 pic.twitter.com/Ot21E6leAC
— ABC News (@ABC) June 15, 2021
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) June 14, 2021
The Rockton, IL chemical plant fire can be seen on radar pic.twitter.com/MNcXDbvrNl
— Bob Golen (@BobGolen) June 14, 2021
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