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One Person Is Dead, Another Critically Injured After An Explosion At W.R. Meadows In Hampshire

By Sabrina Franza

HAMPSHIRE, Ill. (CBS) -- Authorities said at least one person is dead and another is in critical condition following an explosion at a factory on Friday in the Village of Hampshire, located in Kane County.

It happened on the 300 block of Industrial Drive at W.R. Meadows, a factory that manufactures asphalt and concrete products. The two workers were cleaning the top of a tank with items used to make products when the explosion occurred.

CBS 2's Sabrina Franza reported two employees were cleaning a tank that holds an unknown chemical. When it exploded, Nancy Markham heard the whole thing from down the street.

"It actually shook like it felt like something shook," Markham said.

Part of the manufacturing facility was reduced to rubble. The building itself has had two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations in the past, both serious. At least one shows employees getting hurt cleaning another tank.

"It makes you realize how short life is," Markham said.

The company released a statement to CBS 2:

At approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning, an explosion occurred in a secured area of the W. R. Meadows' Hampshire, Illinois plant.  Two employees were involved, one being fatally injured and the other employee being treated at a local hospital.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this incident.  At this time, the scene has been secured and no further hazard exist to employees or the public.  The investigation into the accident continues. 

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