TWO KILLED IN CARLINVILLE HOUSE EXPLOSION
Two people were killed Wednesday morning in a house explosion in Carlinville. A residence at 203 Sue Street was leveled by the explosion, which scattered debris over a four-block area. A neighboring house was also heavily damaged and caught on fire. Carlinville police are reporting that as many as fifteen homes on Sue Street sustained damage. All the houses were evacuated and checked by firefighters.
Around 7:30 Wednesday morning Carlinville residents heard a loud explosion and began calling Macoupin County 9-1-1. Police say there were four people inside the home. 55 year-old Margaret Hatlen and 9 year-old Michael Albracht died from their injuries. A 27-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy were airlifted to Memorial Hospital Burn Center in Springfield. An elderly female living next door was taken to the Carlinville hospital for treatment of a laceration.
Fire departments from Carlinville, Girard, and Gillespie battled the fires. Authorities are investigating the cause and have not ruled out natural gas.
FIRST HUMAN CASE OF WEST NILE IN ILLINOIS
A man from St. Clair County is the first Illinois resident this year to be diagnosed with West Nile disease. The man, who is in his 60s, became ill in July and is recovering. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become sick three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease. In 2005, Illinois recorded 252 human cases of West Nile, including 12 deaths.