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Barge Explosion in Chicago

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posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:14 PM

CHICAGO (CBS 2) A violent explosion has ripped through a barge that was floating freely on the sanitarian ship canal just east of Cicero Avenue overpass on the Southwest Side.

The back half of the barge was consumed by fire. Initial reports indicate that it was a petroleum barge.

Additional debris from the explosion has been blown quite a distance onto the Cicero Avenue bridge. Police worked to close the bridge and clear it rush-hour traffic.

Extreme heat is coming off the barge, which has come to rest mid-channel in close proximity to power lines.

The tug boat that was pushing the barge is trying to relocate the barge or secure it in position.

It is not known what has triggered this massive explosion.

A Level 1 hazardous materials incident has been called. Firefighters are responding from all over the southwest suburbs.

The fire is still actively burning, click the link for picture

[edit on 1-19-2005 by worldwatcher]

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:19 PM
What does a "A Level 1 hazardous materials incident" mean?

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:22 PM
another link:

CHICAGO -- A barge carrying oil has apparently exploded in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on Wednesday, NBC5 reported.

The fire occurred at 44th and Cicero, just north of the Stevenson expressway. Thick flames and black smoke could be seen as a result of the fire. The smoke was spreading out over the Stevenson expressway during rush hour. Southbound Cicero Avenue was shut down all the way to 31st Street, and northbound from just north of Stevenson Bridge. The outbound Stevenson exit to Cicero was shut down.

Only 1 fire truck at bank of canal was able to fight the fire, NBC5 reported.

NBC5 reported that the smoke was not affecting traffic at Midway Airport.

Buddy Hafner, who witnessed the explosion, said

"I was traveling southbound on I-55 approaching Cicero Avenue when just a huge explosion happened off to the north," Hafner said. "The flame in the air had to be 100 feet high, thick black smoke, and we all stopped on I-55 and then a black soot covered our cars."

There is no word of any injuries


Officials are not sure what is burning, but the fire appears to be consuming material onboard. There are concerns the barge is near petroleum storage areas, which could cause numerous environmental problems.

Cicero Avenue is closed near 40th in Chicago. The Stevenson Expressway is not closed but it is moving slowly.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:25 PM
Oh boy... maybe this is linked to the terror threat in Boston. Better get the radiation detectors out..

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:27 PM
This is really to far southwest to be terror related.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:27 PM

Originally posted by Hellmutt
What does a "A Level 1 hazardous materials incident" mean?

Hazmat Level 1 seems to be the least dangerous type of warning, a minimal danger from some type of hazardous material.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:29 PM
.... or maybe it's just a barge on fire

Not all bad things or accidents are the work of terrorist cells among us. These sort of things happened before terrorism and mass paranoia and will continue long after GWB has personally eradicated the threat to us all.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:29 PM
it's supposed to be either oil or petroleum on board the barge, guess that's the reason for the hazmat alert.

btw, slide show of the burning barge

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:38 PM
Hmm, lots of strange explosions in Chicago lately...

From: - Ford City Mall Reopens For Business After Explosion

Blast's Cause Still Under Investigation

POSTED: 6:07 am CST January 17, 2005
UPDATED: 6:05 pm CST January 17, 2005

CHICAGO -- The Ford City mall has reopened on Monday after a weekend of city inspections.

Now, investigators said they are not sure what caused the explosion last Wednesday.

It was quite a big blast too...

From: Mall To Re-Open

Posted January 17, 2005 8:33am

CHICAGO (AP) The Ford City Mall on Chicago's southwest side will reopen today, five days after an explosion in the mall parking lot left ten people injured.

Authorities are still trying to determine what caused the explosion, which opened a 100-foot-long crater that was 25-feet deep in areas in the parking lot.

The explosion Wednesday damaged two dozen cars, and forced the city to issue a boil order for more than 200 homes. Lab tests had shown elevated sediment levels in water samples from the area, but that boil order has since been lifted.

Maybe they´re all just coincidents?

EDIT: Added that other link...

[edit on 2005/1/19 by Hellmutt]

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 05:46 PM
That was big, Car where over flipped, like 20 foot whole in the ground.

There was talk of it being a gas line, nothing ever said for sure.

Intrestingly enough both are just outside the "city". They are Sub-burbs of the city. Not really in Chicago, but close enough to be concdered.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 07:03 PM
I am familiar with that area. there are a bunch of petroleum terminals and storage tank farms there. My first guess is that this is an industrial accident.

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