Little Village's old Crawford Coal Plant concrete smokestack demolished; timing concerns community group

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A massive concrete smokestack came down Saturday morning at the old Crawford Coal Plant in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, sending a cloud of dust into the air.

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Watch as an old concrete smokestack is imploded near 35th and Pulaski in Chicago's Little Village.

The property owners, Hilco Redevelopment Partners were issued an implosion permit to demolish the chimney, located near 35th Street and Pulaski Road at around 8 a.m.

"As with all demolition activity, the health and safety of the workers and local community is a top priority," Hilco Redevelopment Partners said in a notice.

The Chicago Fire Department provided extra engines to help spray water on the site and reduce the amount of dust in the air.

Community groups question whether it's considered essential work during a pandemic.

"Little Village residents are highly vulnerable to contracting COVID-9 for several reasons, a major one being air pollution," the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization said in a Facebook post.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the decision was not made by the city.

"Our Department of Public Health and Inspectors, upon learning that this was going to happen, were actively engaged with the owners of the property and making sure that there was precautions in place," Lightfoot said.
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