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Worker killed at US munitions recycling plant

16 June 2015

One man died and another was injured in an explosion at a Missouri recycling facility that authorities blamed on "an explosive device included in a pile of empty military shell casings." The City of Neosho said in a statement that the explosion occurred when two employees at USA Metal Recycling were handling empty aluminum shell casings that were scheduled to be recycled. 

Stock image
Stock image

In the course of the work the two men "discovered what turned out to be an explosive device, though they were not aware of its nature," the release said. "They were examining the device when it detonated."

One employee was pronounced dead at the scene, the city said. A second man was taken to an area hospital with moderate injuries and was in stable condition Monday afternoon, the city said.
The Missouri Fire Marshal's Office, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the U.S. Department of Defense were among the agencies that responded to the scene after the explosion.

U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has opened an investigation of the incident, which is considered a workplace accident. Brisco's death is the ninth workplace fatality OSHA has logged in Missouri in 2015.

A news release from OSHA on Monday said the cause of the accident has not been determined but the agency "will be conducting a thorough investigation into the cause, and preventive ways to avoid this from happening again."

OSHA said the USA Metal Recycling facility in Neosho employs eight to 10 people, with two working on each shift sorting metals by alloy. The company has four other facilities in Arkansas, OSHA said, and a total staff of about 90.

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