Photo provided to Lake and McHenry County Scanner by Krystle McClanahan.

At least four people were hospitalized and several are unaccounted for after a massive explosion and fire that leveled a factory in Waukegan Friday evening, fire officials said.

Emergency crews responded around 9:30 p.m. Friday to AB Speciality Silicones, 3790 Sunset Avenue in Waukegan, for a reported explosion.

The factory was reportedly leveled by the explosion and heavily involved in fire. Residents throughout Lake County reported feeling and hearing the explosion from miles away.

Waukegan city officials warned people to stay away from the scene as emergency crews worked.

Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi said that at least four people have been transported to area hospitals. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

Several workers inside the factory are unaccounted for, Lenzi said, adding that the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Fire crews from throughout Lake County and Cook County have been called to the scene. AB Speciality Silicones is a manufacturing and distribution company that specializes in producing raw silicone products.

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As of 12:25 a.m. Saturday, the fire continues to burn. Debris from the explosion covered Sunset Avenue near Northwestern Avenue as dozens of fire crews remain at the scene.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

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