Tennessee military flare plant explosion confirmed as accident
05 March 2014
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the fatal late-February explosion at the Kilgore Flares plant in Toone, West Tennessee, occurred in a mixing room. The preliminary findings showed the blast was accidental, but they did not include an exact cause. The explosion gave one worker 90% burns, and he died several days later.
Kilgore makes air and naval decoy flares for the military, including infrared ones that help aircraft and ships counter the threat of guided missiles. Components used in production are highly flammable.
Kilgore has a 264-acre plant and a 242-acre test site in Toone, according to its website. Kilgore was founded in 1920 and became a major military contractor during World War II. It is owned by Chemring Group PLC, a British company that bought it in 2001.
Records show that six people have died in explosions or fires at the plant since 1993.
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