GRANITE CITY, Ill. – Two people died Monday morning and a third is injured after an explosion at a Metro East recycling plant.
The explosion happened shortly before 6:30 a.m. Totall Metal Recycling in the 2700 block of Missouri Avenue in Granite City.
According to Granite City Police Chief Rich Miller, a mortar round exploded, injuring three people. Two of those people died at the scene. The third person was transported to a St. Louis hospital for treatment. That person's condition has not been released.
Miller says the Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad was called to the scene, which was determined to be unsafe. The bodies of the victims were extracted and taken to the Madison County morgue. Their names are expected to be released Tuesday.
According to Miller, it is not unusual for a mortar round to be at the facility because they often recycle items from the military. He called the incident an accident, and not homicide.
Miller says nobody in the general area is in danger.
A spokesperson for Totall Metal Recycling released the following statement Monday:
"This is an extremely difficult day for our entire TOTALL Metal Recycling family following the loss of two of our friends and colleagues this morning.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families as we collectively cope with this tragedy. We are committed to providing each employee and his or her family with counseling resources during this difficult time.
"We are in full cooperation with local, state and federal authorities during their investigation of this most unfortunate incident.
"Again, we extend our most sincere condolences to the families and friends of those lost today."