Quarry blast blamed for afternoon ‘earthquake’ in Chicago area

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A blast from a quarry shook the western suburbs this afternoon, causing many residents to wonder if they felt an earthquake.

Jeffery Tobolski , the mayor of west suburban McCook, confirms two events that shook the ground.  One, a planned blast at 12:35 this afternoon. The other was another seismic event 7 seconds later.

The epicenter appeared to be about two miles south/southwest from LaGrange, which would put it close to a quarry in McCook.

A quarry located at 9101 W. 47th St. in McCook, is operated by Hanson Material Service.   In a written statement, Hanson Material Service said it is reviewing the seismic readings. And that it has no reason to believe there’s a connection between the routine blast and the seismic event.

“Their equipment somehow  indicated that the initial blast was within the parameters … they’re permitted to blast with them,” Tobolski said.

Originally called a small quake by the US Geological Survey, the event was later confirmed as only a single blast event by the agency registering at a magnitude 3.2.

Mayor Tobolski calls Hanson Materials a good neighbor but will ask more questions.

“ I’m concerned.  If people some distance away are feeling this to the extent they’re concerned that it’s being handled appropriately,” he said.

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