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The Latest: 'Clean-burning igniter' exploded at Camp Minden

September 29, 2016 - 4:07 PM

MINDEN, La. - The Latest on explosion at Camp Minden in northwest Louisiana (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

The National Guard says a bunker full of "clean-burning igniter" exploded at Camp Minden, where a company went bankrupt and abandoned about 160 tons of that substance and 7,800 tons of potentially explosive artillery propellant.

Authorities say nobody was hurt in Thursday morning's blast. It occurred about 6.5 miles from the site where a contractor is burning the M-6 propellant and will burn the remaining 100 tons of igniter

Authorities say nobody was hurt in Thursday morning's blast.

Louisiana State Police said earlier it was a bunker of M-6 that exploded. Once they were able to get closer to the site, investigators revised the analysis.

State Trooper Matt Harris called Thursday's explosion minimal compared to one in 2012 that touched off an investigation of Explo Systems Inc. That company went bankrupt the following year.

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This item has been corrected to reflect that authorities now say "clean-burning igniter," not M-6, exploded.

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9 a.m.

Louisiana State Police say the explosion at Camp Minden happened in one of many bunkers where 7,800 tons of explosive M-6 propellant is stored.

Trooper Matt Harris says the hazardous materials unit is surveying the area by air to see the extent of damage.

Harris says once the area is deemed safe, investigators will start looking for a cause of Thursday morning's explosion. He says no one was injured in the blast.

Explosive Services International is in the process of destroying propellant that was left behind when Explo Systems Inc. went bankrupt in 2013.

Webster Parish official Jenny Reynolds says she was standing on her front porch drinking coffee when she saw a flash and then heard an explosion coming from the direction of Camp Minden.

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6:55 a.m.

Louisiana State Police say a hazardous materials unit is on the scene investigating a possible explosion in northwest Louisiana at the same site where a company was previously accused of abandoning 7,800 tons of potentially explosive artillery propellant.

Lt. Jeff White says the Troop G office in Bossier City started receiving calls around 5 a.m. Thursday.

Explosive Services International of Baton Rouge is working at Camp Minden on the burn operation to destroy millions of pounds of improperly stored M-6 propellant.

Company President Billy Poe told the Associated Press his men at the site didn't hear an explosion. He said his personnel are accounted for and no one is hurt.

Poe said he is on his way to the scene and plans to get a helicopter in the air after daylight to check out the area where the propellant is being stored.

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This story corrects paragraph 4 by inserting the name of company that left behind propellant, which is Explo Systems Inc.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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