Salt Dunes Bury Cars After Warehouse Wall Collapse

The Morton Salt building is located in the 1300 block of North Elston Avenue

Dunes of salt spilled from a Morton Salt warehouse in Chicago after a wall collapsed Tuesday, burying cars at the McGrath Acura dealership next door under the white crystals.

No injuries were reported in the collapse at the salt company's North Side factory in the 1300 block of North Elston Avenue, fire officials said.

Salt Spill at Morton Salt Warehouse

The wall may have collapsed because the salt inside was piled too high, a preliminary inspection by the Department of Buildings found.

"We are working with local authorities to review and respond to the situation," Morton Salt said in a statement.

Representatives from Morton Salt were at the scene and working with a structural engineer to ensure the remaining structure is safe and supported, according to authorities.

The last inspection at the facility was completed on March 5 and a refrigeration inspection was done on Nov. 2, 2012, officials said. The building also has an outstanding violation for failure to maintain its roof in "sound condition" and make repairs to the western portion of the roof, the department said.

Noble Jones, the general manager at McGrath Acura, says about 11 cars were damaged by the collapse and buried in salt. Jones estimates between seven and eight vehicles belong to customers and four to five were to be sold by the dealership.

Jones said a majority of the vehicles are "a total loss" because there was so much salt the suspension might be damaged.

This year marked the 100th birthday of the Morton Salt girl, according to their website. [[287210821, C]]

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