Lake City Ammunition Plant Explosion – 1 dead, 4 injured
Independence, MO – An explosion yesterday at the Army’s Lake City Ammunition plant caused the death of one worker and injured 4 others. The plant explosion does not appear to be enough to drive a shortage in ammunition, as other ammo plant explosions have done.
“Making ammunition is dangerous work, and our employees risk their lives to protect our men and women in uniform. This is a sacrifice they make to support our country, and I am humbled by the ultimate sacrifice this employee made today.” Lt. Col. Eric Dennis
The explosion took place at the primer mixing facility, where chemical compounds are combined for use in the ammunition.
The employee who was killed has been with the plant for 36 years, according to the US Army. His name has not been released. The 4 who were injured were “evaluated at the scene,” but refused treatment. All employees were released to go home after the incident.
The plant has seen explosions before, as have other ammunition manufacturing facilities across the country. An explosion at the Lake City facility in 2011 caused injuries to 6 people. Others in 1981 and 1990 killed and injured workers at the plant. OSHA reportedly fined the company for workplace violations 3 times since 2008, according to the Kansas City Star.
Defense Contractor Orbital ATK
A $92 Million contract between the Army and Orbital ATK, the company who runs the facility under Army supervision, was announced on Monday. Their press release read, in part:
“Orders were placed for 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition under Orbital ATK’s supply contract to produce small-caliber ammunition for the U.S. government at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (Lake City) in Independence, Missouri…Orbital ATK is the largest manufacturer of small-caliber ammunition for the U.S. Department of Defense…
Orbital ATK and the U.S. Army have made significant upgrades at the facility in recent years that have enhanced product quality; and performance, efficiency and operational improvements for safety and environmental stewardship.”[Orbital ATK also received a 5 year contract through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program for producing the motors for the AIM-9P (Sidewinder Missiles) at Robins Air Force Base. They announced the award on April 12, the day after the explosion at the plant in Missouri. The company previously produced 30,000 of the rocket motors.]
— Bearing Arms (@BearingArmsCom) April 12, 2017
— sam zeff (@samzeff) April 11, 2017
— Megan Dillard (@mdillardnews) April 11, 2017
— Fear and Loading (@FearAndLoading) April 12, 2017
Man killed in Independence ammo plant explosion worked at factory for 36 years https://t.co/SsqzlwMUpv
— Janice Jhana Elks (@OMAHAGEMGIRL) April 12, 2017
— Mike Nielson (@KQ2MikeNielson) April 12, 2017
The Lake City Ammunition Plant sits on property that has 400 buildings and 9 warehouses, with 700,000 square feet of storage space.