Lightfoot launches investigation after smokestack demolished in Little Village

Calling the incident “simply unacceptable,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has ordered an investigation after the implosion of a smoke stack on the city’s West Side blanketed a neighborhood in dust.

On Saturday morning, the Hilco Redevelopment Partners company conducted a scheduled implosion of a smoke stack at the Crawford Power Generating Station, located in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. After the implosion of the structure at the now defunct coal-fired power plant, a massive cloud of dust quickly engulfed a large area around the site.

The Chicago Fire Department posted a video of the implosion on Twitter:

Later Saturday, Lightfoot sent out a series of tweets announcing her office had issued a “stop-work” order at the site, and that she would initiate a full-scale investigation into the incident:

“The city is investigating an incident which occurred on the site of the former Crawford Power Generating Station, where Hilco Redevelopment Partners’ scheduled implosion of a smoke stack resulted in dust blanketing the adjacent community,” Lightfoot said in a social media post. “The health and safety of our residents is our top priority, which is why what happened earlier today was simply unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, area residents are concerned about the materials kicked up by the implosion, posting dramatic photos and videos on social media:

Lightfoot will conduct a press conference with the Department of Buildings and the Chicago Department of Public Health about the incident.