Blue Island, IL Natural Gas Explosion, Sep 1976


Blue Island (AP) - One person was killed and at least 10 others were injured Friday in an explosion and fire in a shopping area of Blue Island, a suburb south of Chicago.
The explosion leveled a two-story brick building housing a vacuum cleaner repair shop on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor in the commercial district. It was followed by a fire, a fire department spokesman said.
Officials at St. Francis Hospital identified the dead person as MRS. GUADALUPE AGUILAR, about 46, who they said lived in the apartment.
The injured, including a man believed to be the dead woman's husband, were taken to the same hospital, where five were admitted.
Investigators from Northern Illinois Gas Co. were at the scene trying to determine the cause of the explosion.
Robert Kearby, a company spokesman,
said that a contracting firm had ruptured a main gas line on the street two weeks ago while working on the sewer system. He said gas company workers repaired the line at the time and certified that it was safe.
The explosion occurred between a Spiegel's catalog store and a vacuum cleaner repair shop. A Sears store and an office of the Illinois Department of Employment Security also were in flames.

The Pantagraph Bloomington Illinois