Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sulfur, Gasoline, Burning Tar Smell in Chicagoland Likely from Malfunction at Citgo Refinery in Lemont

Area fire departments in the near northwest suburbs and west suburbs received multiple reports of an odor in the air, starting about 4:20 a.m.

Firefighters in Glenview, Park Ridge, Morton Grove, and Winnetka responded to reports of the odor about 4:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

Chicago Fire Department crews from Truck 9, Truck 55 and was investigating an odor on Touhy Avenue and was checking multiple manhole cover areas about 5:40 a.m. near their districts. The odor was also reported about 7400 Overhill. The Citgo refinery in Lemont is about 28 miles southwest of the 7400 Overhill address in Chicago near Niles.

The description of the odor included gas, gasoline, burning tar, rotten eggs and sulfur.

The source of the odor was traced to the Citgo plant in Lemont. Apparently a process at the petroleum refinery malfunctioned, which caused the odor to spread across parts of Chicagoland. Winds were from the South at 5 MPH at 2:51 a.m. and from the southwest for the next couple of hours.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Citgo representatives told police in Romeoville that the plant was experiencing an equipment issue. The Chicago Tribune also reported that Citgo officials at the Lemont plant could not immediately be reached for comment.

Suburbs closer to the refinery, including Romeoville and Downers Grove received odor investigation calls closer to 3:00 a.m. The Citgo Refinery is located at on 135th Street about one mile west of I-355.

Fire departments, police departments, and Citgo officials apparently did not share the information that was known in Romeoville and Lemont, as firefighters and police officers in northwest Chicago and near northwest suburbs tried to determine the cause of the odor.

No odor calls were reported in Arlington Heights or bordering communities.

See also ...
Foul smell spreads across western suburbs from Citgo refinery

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