Investigators Conclude Scene Phase Investigation of Lake City Ammo Plant Explosion

Lake City Army Ammunition Plant Explosion
Lake City Army Ammunition Plant Explosion
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. —-( The National Response Team (NRT) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) along with Investigators from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command, have concluded the on-scene phase of the investigation in to the fatal explosion at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.

On Tuesday, April 11, at approximately 12:57 p.m., the Lake City Fire Department responded to an explosion in the primer mixing area of the plant. The explosion killed one plant employee, injured four, and caused significant damage to the primer production area. The Lake City plant manufactures ammunition used by all branches of the U.S. Military.

Working with its investigative partners, ATF NRT members spent the past three days investigating the cause and exact origin of the explosion. Investigators did an extensive scene examination and conducted interviews with first responders and plant personnel.

While the investigation into the exact cause of the explosion is ongoing, investigators have determined the explosion was non-criminal in nature.

In 1978, ATF developed the NRT to bring its expertise to federal, state and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant explosions and arson incidents. The NRT consists of four teams organized geographically to cover the United States. Each team can respond within 24 hours to assist state and local law enforcement/fire service personnel in on-site investigations.

The teams are each composed of veteran special agents who have post-blast and fire origin-and-cause expertise, forensic chemists, explosives enforcement officers, fire protection engineers, accelerant detection canines, explosives detection canines, intelligence support, computer forensic support, and audit support. The teams work alongside state and local officers in reconstructing the scene, identifying the seat of the blast or origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris to obtain evidence related to the explosion/arson.

Field Division: Kansas City Field Division

  • 13 thoughts on “Investigators Conclude Scene Phase Investigation of Lake City Ammo Plant Explosion

      1. A friend is in a position to know this. He said they were testing a new technique, to shorten the primer mixing time, drastically, because management wanted to expedite the process. This was the result. I’ve not seen this in print, yet, so it’s not “official”, as of yet. If he is correct, and it comes out in findings, this is little short of murder.

    1. I worked there for eight years, and can tell you that safety was just lip service, under the current contractor. The cause of this explosion is criminal, on the part of the contractor. i don’t know if I can legally discuss what I know, but i will say it should never have happened, and, except for the demands of plant management, would not have happened. This isn’t a new process, it has been going on, for many years.

      1. Hate to burst your bubble but video cameras often don’t cover entire areas of a plant nor do they always focus in on specific work stations. Nice try; no cigar.

    2. So, in other words, the ATF is patting themselves on the back for the “quick response” and “scene investigation”. Meanwhile, the investigation is ongoing. Meaning “We don’t have a freaking clue”, as per usual. Great propaganda piece ATF.

      1. not quite. This group seem to be one of the very few legitimate functions of BATF, and despite the fact the entire agency needs to be scrapped, these folks and their ezpertise should be folded into some other agency wiht a legitimate existence.

        I can’t imagine how thorough one would need to be to examine a scene where such incredible power was unleashed in every direction, and be able to figure out “what happened”.
        At least these guys aren’t too likely to be imagining such stupidity as was promulgated after TWA 800 was shot down. I never believed for a second that fuel in tanks aboard an airliner could be touched off as a bomb by random electrical current sparking….. their theory being based on an EMPTY tank just 8 minutes after takeoff……. but they had someone to protect. ”

        These guys are trying to figure out what happened to increase the chances it will not happen again.

    3. Wow how sad. My deepest condolences to the friends & family of all involved. One would expect more damage from such an explosion. Hats off to the employees at the factor who likely helped contain the blast fire and the first responders who extinguished the fire(?).

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