Explosions rock power plant, up to 17 injured

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Explosions on Tuesday shook a coal-fired generating plant that supplies power to Chicago, starting a fire that took six hours to extinguish and making lights flicker across the city. Up to 17 people were injured, four critically.
Many of the injuries were minor, but four people were in critical condition with burns. Two were taken to Loyola University Medical Center in the Chicago suburb of Maywood, and two were taken to the University of Chicago Hospitals.
The explosions and fire shortly before 8 a.m. at the Southern Energy Co. plant sent plumes of black smoke towering along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Jim Walsko, the city Fire Department’s chief fire inspector, said he believes a spark ignited coal dust.
Lights flickered across Chicago as backup power systems kicked in. About 25 industrial customers on the city’s South Side were without power for 30 minutes after the explosions, said Commonwealth Edison spokeswoman Jennifer Kennefick.