The workers at Blue Island Phenol in Alsip, Ill., were both burned by the blast, the Chicago Tribune reported. They were said to be in stable condition.
Alsip fire Chief Tom Styczynski said propane, propylene and benzene were involved in the explosion, which apparently began as a chemical leak. Officials said the cause is being investigated.
One building was destroyed and a second damaged, officials said. Styczynski said the plant's high-capacity or deluge sprinkler system did a lot to minimize the damage.
"I could see some vapor," Bill Moffatt, the plant manager, said. "I turned around to go to my office to get my coat and hard hat and other personal protective equipment. As I was walking back to my office there was a concussion."
Blue Island Phenol was completely shut down for several hours, roads in the area were closed and other businesses in the neighborhood evacuated, police said.
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