Monday, December 3, 2012

"Um, Sarge, We Have A Situation..."

Saw this headline and just couldn't stop shaking my head...

La. town evacuates; police relocate explosives
NEW ORLEANS — A town in northwest Louisiana was being evacuated and state police were starting a criminal investigation of a company after finding about 6 million pounds of explosive material used in howitzers they say was stored illegally.
Boxes and small barrels of the M6 artillery propellant were found both outdoors and crammed into unauthorized buildings leased by Explo Systems Inc. at Camp Minden, the former Louisiana Army Ammunitions Plant, state police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said Sunday.
This is a little town - population about 800 - and I'm just imagining how that call must have sounded. Granted, with this business in town they certainly would have known that some explosives were on site, but six million pounds? Left in barrels on pallets stuffed into storage sheds? Here's the best part - this was discovered after an explosion at the site a month and a half ago; this is not something unexpected. It just appears to be a lot bigger - by a factor of six - than originally expected.

You've got to wonder, too, what was going through the heads of the guys that run this company. Some would paint it as yet another example of a company making money at the expense of safety - that they were taking in these explosives and storing them improperly as a way to pad the bottom line. It's possible, though, that this was simply a case of being in way over their heads - and "in for a penny, in for a pound" mentality...

I wonder how much money you could make, though, raffling off chances to be the person who set off the "controlled explosion" for all that...

That is all.

7 comments:

Ambulance Driver said...

Nor is that the first explosion at that site, either. There was a fairly large one a few years back.

What's worse, my ex has a stepdaughter in the National Guard youth challenge camp there.

Stretch said...

This has all the makings of a EXCELLENT Bob Newhart routine.

Wally said...

Timing...
In doing research for the correct, original propellant for the recoilless, I stumbled across a lot of reports on the army storing zillions of pounds of surpluss powder - much of it no longer suitable. Seems that the Army has come up with quite a program to "sample" aging propellants and destroy the worst of the worst. I saw a citation about many facilities with explosions if not multiple explosions...

And in my myopic view, it means there simply is no more M10 propellant as it was unstable since day one, and anything even remaining at this time would be too hazardous to lay a finger on.

That said, any poorly stored powder is garbage at best, deadly at worst.... and 6M pounds, well, hey it's only likely $60M in taxes spent to acquire it. And probably another $60M in storage and babysitting....

Dave H said...

Marvin the Martian will be delighted. They found his Earth-shattering kaboom.

PhilaBOR said...

The Mother of All Boomershoots! Where's Joe Huffman?

Mark said...

Can we grind it up for reloading? Failing that I agree BOOMERSHOOT!

HTRN said...

This has the potential to be another Pepcon disaster..