May 14th, 2010 10:23 PM
MDM Muzzleloaders plant explosion, 2 killed 1 injured
The Argus-Press: News - Explosion at NH gun factory kills 2, injures 1
Explosion at NH gun factory kills 2, injures 1
Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 9:14 pm | Updated: 10:00 pm, Fri May 14, 2010.
By LISA RATHKE | 0 comments
Multiple explosions at a gun and ammunition manufacturing plant in far northern New Hampshire on Friday killed two people, shook buildings blocks away, filled the sky with black smoke and forced the evacuation of dozens of homes.
State Fire Marshal Bill Degnan confirmed the deaths at the MDM Muzzleloader building in Colebrook. He said the two victims, along with another person who received minor injuries, were the only people in the building at the time.
The blasts started just after 1 p.m., said Mia West, Colebrook's public information officer. She said firefighters initially were unable to get close enough to fight the blaze because ammunition was still going off more than two hours later.
At Colebrook Elementary School, paraprofessional Saralyn Boutin at first thought she was hearing thunder, but after the second boom, "I was hanging onto the desk."
Boutin, 28, said some of the students in the 8th-grade classroom were crying. Hours later, she was heading to her mother's house to spend the night because her own street remained blocked off. Some of her neighbors' homes had windows blown out, she said.
Her colleague, guidance counselor Jennifer Noyes, said she worried for her 2-year-old son, who was at a daycare center near the factory. She immediately called the center only to find that he had slept through the whole thing.
Degnan said the fire continued to burn more than four hours the explosion was reported, and that it was too soon to determine the cause.
"We're just getting into the investigation and trying to determine the details," he said.
About 40 nearby homes were evacuated, though some were allowed to return home by late Friday evening. Some residents reported hearing the explosion up to a mile and a half away, West said. Displaced residents were offered accommodations at The Balsams Grand Resort and Hotel in nearby Dixville Notch.
Several communities in New Hampshire and Vermont sent fire crews.
"It's just major, major explosions and black powder," said Mishel Fenn, a bartender at the Colebrook House motel, who felt the blast two blocks away. "It shook the building, and I'm in a large building."
Calls to company officials were not immediately returned Friday. According to a report in a January issue of The Colebrook Chronicle, a weekly newspaper, a worker at the plant suffered serious injuries to his face and wrist when he a machine that processes gunpowder flashed in his face. That fire was put out quickly.
During Friday's explosion, the editor of another newspaper said she thought something had hit the roof of her building.
"It knocked a picture off of my wall, right next to my desk," said Karen Ladd, editor and publisher of The News and Sentinel in Colebrook. "I will admit I panicked and I said, 'Get out!'"
John Gannon, 47, of Cambridge, Mass., was visiting a friend when the apartment building shook.
"It felt like a truck blew up outside," he said, adding that he was sorry to hear that two people were killed.
"It's terrible," he said.
Colebrook is about 140 miles north of the capital city of Concord and 10 miles from the Canadian border.
Associated Press Writers Holly Ramer and Kathy McCormack in Concord, N.H., and Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vt., contributed to this report.
They have reps at the NRA show.
"Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18
Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
Paramedics With Guns Scare People!
May 14th, 2010 11:59 PM
That is really sad,all it takes is one spark in the wrong place
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
May 15th, 2010 07:57 PM
We have fun with black powder Civil War-reenactment guns and sit around and roll and pack paper cartridges...and then some idiot walks up smoking a cigarette, much to their regret.
May 15th, 2010 08:21 PM
Sad. The original DuPont gunpowder company located on the Brandywine River had the gunpowder made in three sided structures, three stone walls with the fourth open towards the river and no roof. The reason any explosion would go up and towards the river and not involve any of the other structures used for the same purpose. Luckily with DuPont's safety awareness the explosions were kept to a minimum.
You can educate ignorance, you can't fix stupid
Retired DE Trooper, SA XD40 SC, S&W 2" Airweight
dukalmighty & Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro "Trooper" Holsters, DE CCDW and LEOSA Permits, Vietnam Vet 68-69 Pleiku
May 16th, 2010 08:49 AM
The article has one error. The plant that blew up did not manufacture blackpowder. The plant manufactured Black Mag3, a blackpowder substitute. Black Mag 3 is an ascorbic acid based powder that is enhanced with a perchlorate oxidizer.
Most of the production of that plant went to the US military.
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