GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — A bomb squad has been dispatched to a recycling plant in a St. Louis suburb where an explosion Monday morning killed two people and injured at least one other.
Authorities in Granite City, Illinois, said a mortar round went off at the Totall Metal Recycling plant and fear of another explosion kept police from venturing in to collect the victims for hours after.
The Belleville News-Democrat reported that firefighters were alerted to the explosion outside the plant in Granite City, about 8 miles northeast of St. Louis, about 8 a.m.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blast. The company recycles everything from computers to automobiles and, according to the company's website, it also deals with the ammunition industry.
A person who answered the company phone said nobody could comment. Messages left with police and fire officials were not immediately returned.
The Secretary of State's bomb squad had been dispatched to the scene to assist an explosive ordnance disposal unit from Scott Air Force Base to ensure "there are no other explosive or dangerous devices and, if there are, to render them safe," the office's spokesman, Henry Haupt, said.
The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also on the scene, Haupt said.
Granite City Police Major Jeff Connor said two people were killed but he provided no information on those deaths. He said a third person was injured and taken to a St. Louis hospital, but that he didn't know the person's condition.
More than 160 people work at the plant, according to the company website.
Prather Elementary School is about half a mile west of the plant. No one answered at the school and district officials did not immediately return a message left by the Associated Press.