The following is a news release from the Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office:
PINEVILLE – An explosive incident occurred at Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden in Minden, this morning at approximately 5 a.m., Sept. 29. The Louisiana State Police’s hazmat team determined that Clean Burning Ignitor (CBI) auto-ignited in the earth covered bunker it was stored in.
The bunker was destroyed.
“This is product that was moved and properly stored in an earth covered bunker,” State Trooper Matt Harris told reporters at a press conference earlier today. “This one [explosion] is minimal compared to what we dealt with four years ago.”
Approximately 320,890 pounds of CBI was initially stored in three bunkers. After the explosion, two-thirds of the CBI remains, or approximately 200,000 pounds stored between two bunkers.
“No one was injured. The area is safe, the scene is secure and public safety is not a concern at this time,” Col. Ed Bush, state public affairs officer for the Louisiana National Guard explained during the press conference. “Those systems that are designed to contain and control an incident just like this; that bunker system that’s out there did exactly what it’s supposed to do.”
Explosive Service International and Camp Minden officials confirmed no one was injured. The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed there is no concern to air quality following the auto-ignition.
The incident occurred on the east side of Camp Minden in storage Area L-2, where no one was working. The area has been secured while LSP continues its investigation. The contained burn chamber is located in Area I, a straight-line distance of more than 6.5 miles from where the M6 propellant and CBI is stored.
Multiple agencies responded to the incident including LSP, EPA, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Bossier Parish Fire District #1.
Since operations began in April, more than 6.2 million pounds of propellant has been destroyed by ESI. For more information on monitoring, please visit: http://www.esicampminden.com