Ammunition Plant Closed for the Day as Blast is Investigated

Apr 12, 2017

   INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) - The ammunition plant in Missouri where one person was killed and four others were injured has been closed for the day while investigators try to determine what caused the explosion in a primer mixing building.

   Lt. Col. Eric Dennis, commander of the plant in Independence, and Jim Nickels, a vice president with Orbital ATK, a private contractor that manages the plant, said at a news conference all the nearly 1,800 employees were sent home after Tuesday's explosion. They declined to release any information on the victim or other details.

   Federal investigators fined the plant for workplace safety issues in 2008, 2011 and 2012.

   The largest penalty paid was in 2011, when the operator at the time, Alliant ATK, was initially fined $28,000 and paid $5,600 after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited it for "serious" issues with process safety management of hazardous chemicals.