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Class Sues for Magnesium Plant Explosion

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - An October 2010 explosion at a Magnesium Elektron casting plant spewed chemicals that polluted the air in two cities, according to a class action in Madison County Court.

Lead plaintiffs John Williams and Monica Harris-Williams say the Oct. 4, 2010 explosion at the company's Madison, Ill., plant released a large plume of magnesium oxide particulates and other contaminants into the air. They say a 6-year-old evacuee from near the plant vomited from breathing the contaminants.

"Plaintiffs John Williams and Monica Harris-Williams also detected an unpleasant odor in the air and eventually noticed a thin film of contamination covering their vehicle and house," the complaint states. "In addition, both John Williams and Monica Harris-Williams detected the unpleasant odor from inside their home."

The Illinois attorney general sued Magnesium Elektron for the explosion on Oct. 20, 2010. That complaint claims that Magnesium Elektron violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and caused air pollution in sufficient quantities and duration to be injurious to human, animal and plant life.

The class includes all residents of Madison or Venice, Ill. It seeks damages for negligence, trespass and nuisance and wants Elektron ordered to clean up the contamination.

The class is represented by Eric Holland with Holland, Groves, Schneller in St. Louis.

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