Minden, Doyline, explosives, Explo - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Day four Update on Minden and Doyline

Posted: Updated: Dec 5, 2012 10:14 AM
October 15th explosion site October 15th explosion site

DOYLINE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - After the conclusion of fourth day of operations, Explo Systems' is saying that its personnel continued to make progress as they work to relocate up to six million pounds of improperly stored propellants.

Under the direct supervision of Louisiana State Police Emergency Services personnel, Explo Systems' employees report moving another 400,000 pounds of the improperly stored M6 propellant, which was then stored in approved storage magazines located within the Camp Minden property.  Although it was anticipated, no weather-related delays were incurred today.  This brings the four-day operations total to 1.6 million pounds.

With the recently updated estimated total of six million pounds of propellant believed to be incorrectly stored and given the small confines of tightly packed corridors personnel are contending with, the evacuation order remains in effect and has been extended through Thursday, with the possibility of going into Friday. Louisiana State Police, Webster Parish Sheriff's Office and Doyline Police Department would like to remind residents that the area has not been deemed safe as of yet and would continue to urge residents to remain outside the evacuated area.  For those who must return, it is recommended they do so after dark, when the explosive product is not being handled.  This recommendation comes as the safety of all residents is the primary concern as this extraordinary task continues.

Additionally as a precaution, the Webster Parish Clerk of Courts would like to remind residents that Saturday's polling location has been relocated from within the current evacuation area to Westlake Baptist Church.  

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Authorities are keeping a close eye on the weather and watching for lightning as they work to secure 6 million pounds of explosives at a former ammunition plant in northwest Louisiana.

State police spokeswoman Lt. Julie Lewis says crews will suspend efforts to relocate the M6 propellant into bunkers if lightning is spotted within five miles of the site.

The National Weather Service forecast says the chance for rain Tuesday is 60 percent and isolated thunderstorms are possible.

Discovery of the improperly stored material at the Camp Minden industrial site led to evacuation of the nearby town of Doyline (doy LEEN') and prompted a criminal investigation of Explo Systems Inc.

At the end of the day yesterday, crews had segregated or safely stored 1.2 million pounds, leaving close to 5 million pounds yet to be dealt with.

As authorities slowly move 6 million pounds of explosives that had been improperly stored at a munitions recycling facility, they're revealing more details about the kind of danger the explosives posed.

The sheriff in Webster Parish, La., says a blast in one building could have triggered a chain reaction of explosives in other parts of the facility -- because corridors connecting the buildings were packed with explosive materials. Those materials included a propellant that is used in artillery shells.

Dozens of workers at the site are moving the materials to safe bunkers on the site, a former Army base. Officials are keeping an eye on the weather, and they'll stop work if there's a threat of thunderstorms.

Site work is being directed by state police, who have opened an investigation into why the materials were stored improperly.

A voluntary evacuation for the community of Doyline, near the site, is expected to remain in effect at least until Friday.

Explo has not publicly commented on the investigation.

Previous Report:

DOYLINE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - The work to remove some 6 million pounds of explosives from a former ammunition plant at Minden continues today but may have to be interrupted as the day wears on.

Today's big concern is the weather, with storms possible across the northern tier of parishes in Louisiana. The chance of rain is currently being placed at 60% with isolated thunderstorms possible.

A state police spokesperson has said that if lightning is seen anywhere within five miles of the removal site, removal work will stop immediately.

Discovery of the improperly stored material at the Camp Minden industrial site led to evacuation of the nearby town of Doyline (doy LEEN') and prompted a criminal investigation of Explo Systems Inc.

Evacuated Doyline residents remain away from home until the remaining 4 million pounds of explosives can be dealt with. As of Monday, crews had segregated or safely stored 1.2 million pounds.

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