‘It was crazy – I couldn’t breathe’: Cloud of dust engulfed hundreds of Chicago homes when coal plant chimney was demolished
- The implosion of an old coal plant in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood has sparked new controversy and also plans for a lawsuit
- The demolition on Saturday sent a cloud of dust into the neighborhood and residents want to know why the city let it happen
- The controlled implosion sent dust particles all across the neighborhood, leaving behind a thick cloud of smoke
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
A demolition of a coal plant smoke stack in Chicago ended up sending a thick cloud of dust over nearby homes.
The demolition that took place on Saturday morning was captured on film and saw a thick smoke being sent over the Little Village neighborhood of the city.
The implosion had been planned for some time but it appears little thought was given to the wind direction on the morning of the explosion as the cloud drifted over dozens of streets blanketing all in its path.
The implosion of an old coal plant chimney in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood has sparked new controversy and also plans for a lawsuit
At first it appeared as though the demolition was routine and everything was going well
‘It was crazy. I couldn’t breathe,’ the photographer, who only gave his name as Maclovio, told Earther. ‘I didn’t bring a mask so I just had to make a makeshift one with my jacket over my face… It hurt my lungs for like 20 minutes afterward, and my nose burned.’
The demolition happened as officials are trying to contain COVID-19 which is a respiratory illness.
The neighborhood near the plant has already seen 268 people fall ill with coronavirus according to the Chicago Tribune.
Although the company involved had a permit for the demolition, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the CEO of Hilco is ‘contrite and embarrassed by what took place in Little Village.’
It soon became apparent the dust cloud produced was going to be far larger than anticipated
The demolition on Saturday sent a cloud of dust into the neighborhood and residents want to know why the city let it happen
The controlled implosion sent dust particles all across the neighborhood, leaving behind a thick cloud of smoke
‘They own this,’ the mayor said, according to the Chicago Sun Times. ‘The representations that were made by Hilco were not followed through on. If anybody in the city government or the alderman’s office knew what was represented to us wasn’t actually gonna be followed on site, we would have stopped it in its tracks. But promises were made. Those promises were not kept.’
The developers were cited by the city and won’t be allowed to continue working on the property until the city conducts an investigation into the demolition.
A cleanup operation has now begun in the Little Village neighborhood which Hilco have agreed to pay for.
Photos circulated on social media showed what appeared to be thick dust seeping into residential areas