Quarry blast shook Ill. homes, registered at magnitude 3.2 - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Quarry blast shook Ill. homes, registered at magnitude 3.2

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Inside Kate Marten's LaGrange home, 9 blocks west of the quarry, pictures shifted on the wall, a vase shattered, and decorations fell to the floor. Inside Kate Marten's LaGrange home, 9 blocks west of the quarry, pictures shifted on the wall, a vase shattered, and decorations fell to the floor.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The U.S. Geological Survey says a quarry blast shook northern Illinois at a magnitude 3.2.

The agency said earlier Monday afternoon that the rumbles were an earthquake. Later, the USGS updated its report to say the shaking was a quarry blast in the southwestern Chicago suburb of Countryside.

At 12:35 p.m. the Hanson Materials Quarry in McCook conducted a blast. People felt the shock, or shake, as far as 560 miles away. Confusion and even fear over what many thought was an earthquake triggered many 911 calls.

"Everybody around us was freaking out," says LaGrange resident Kate Martens. "They were calling on the phones, they were saying ‘oh my gosh was that an earthquake, was that an earthquake?' and I knew right away it was like the quarry."

When Kate Martens got back to her home in LaGrange she found a broken vase, photos on her living room floor, pictures on her walls shifted and the letter "K" from her son Jack's name plate on the floor of his room.

In Hinsdale, it shook Glinke Plumbing.

"All of a sudden we just felt this big boom and just a really sudden shake," Sherry LaBate describes. "It wasn't like a tremor or anything, it just a real boom and it was gone 20 and I thought something hit the building."

Though there were no reports of injuries, police departments from Hinsdale to LaGrange and around the area were flooded with calls from a lot of anxious people wondering what was going on.

Hanson Materials said in a statement that their seismic recorders indicated two events: the quarry blast, and then another separate tremble seven seconds later, which the company does not believe is related to the blast.

But the U.S. Geological Survey which monitors earthquakes said it recorded only a single seismic episode that was typical of a quarry blast.

The shake was felt in homes businesses and schools including one in Brookfield.

"We were just on the computer playing some games then there was just this shake. People asked what was that and the teacher said it might have been an earthquake," 4th grade Congress Park School student Ayari Salas recalls.

Back in 2010, a Hanson Materials blast caused similar concerns, which the company initially denied according to a business owner nearby. Monday's blast was stronger.

"People ran outside," says Jeff Beck. "They thought a semi-truck hit the building or large explosion or something had happened outside."

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which regulates quarries, sent an investigator to Hanson Materials to review the seismic readings. They expect to know more in a day or so.

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