CHICAGO (WLS) -- The calls reporting the huge explosion at AB Specialty Silicones in Waukegan have been released. Besides hearing the panic in the people who dialed 911, they reveal how the operators handled the massive number of calls coming in all at once.
The calls started seconds after the explosion.
"There's a giant explosion that shook our home," one caller said.
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Some of them were terrified. Dispatchers did their job gathering information, but tried to keep people calm.
"Did you see anything, ma'am?" one dispatcher asked.
"No, no, I don't even want to look outside," the caller responded. "I'm scared. I'm in the bathroom with a baby."
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The volume of calls intensified as the fire erupted.
"Have you seen anything?" a dispatcher asked.
"No, but I'm a police officer it, it was definitely an explosion-type sound," the caller replied.
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One caller told the dispatcher she is 19 years old, home alone, and worried the explosion she heard was someone breaking in.
"Do you feel comfortable trying to check your home right now with me on the line?" the dispatcher asked.
"No. I'm scared," the caller answered.
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Within minutes first responders arrived at AB Specialty Silicones plant and began to try to contain the massive fire.
Four men died in the explosion: Byron Biehn, Jeff Cummings, Allen Stevens and Daniel Nicklas. Investigators said nine people were inside the plant when it exploded.
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911 calls reporting Waukegan silicone plant explosion released