ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

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ATF Explosives Industry Newsletter Masthead
September
2001

Editor,
Gene Baker

A
view of the crater resulting from the explosion in the magazine
graphically depicts the violent nature of the event.

As
the aerial picture below depicts, the spacing between the bunkers
functioned as designed, preventing any further detonations in
the adjacent magazines. This clearly illustrates why proper distancing
between magazines is such an essential feature of the Table-of-Distance
(TOD) requirements.

Photo of aerial view of complex

Aerial
view of bunker complex

Highland
Industrial Park owns and manages approximately 600 explosives
bunkers located on a 1500-acre facility. The bunkers were built
by the military in the 1950's and were sold to Highland Industrial
Park in 1961.

Immediately
following the explosion, ATF responded to the scene and began
an investigation of the cause. In addition to the initial investigation,
ATF activated a CIMRT (Critical Incident Management Response
Team) along with the Department of Defense; Arkansas State Fire
Marshal's Office, Arkansas State Police, and the Calhoun County
Sheriff's Office. The objectives of this operation were to determine
the cause of the explosion and to inspect the explosive storage
facilities of Federal explosives licensees/permittees with respect
to compliance with applicable laws and regulations. This major
effort was an excellent example of teamwork utilizing a wide
variety of personnel from New Orleans and Dallas Field Divisions
as well as the Arson & Explosives Division.

Although
explosives compliance inspections of explosive licensees and permittees
are routinely performed for compliance with Federal explosives
law and regulations, the concentrated effort at the Highland Park
Complex was a direct result of the explosion that occurred on
April 28th. The concentrated operation began on June 4,2001 and
concluded June 8, 2001. A total of more than 50 ATF Special Agents,
Inspectors, Explosives Enforcement Officers as well as support
personnel were involved in the inspections of 248 bunkers being
used for the commercial storage of explosives by 42 Federal explosives
licensees. Several licensing, recordkeeping, and storage violations
were disclosed. Follow-up inspections were conducted during the
week of August 27, 2001, to ensure that corrective action is being
taken regarding violations of 27 CFR Part 55, Explosives. The
New Orleans Field Division will continue this effort, until all
violations have been resolved.

ADVANCED
EXPLOSIVES DESTRUCTION TECHNIQUES

ATF
Provides Training for State and Local Bomb Techs

The
ATF State, Local & International Training Division, State
& Local Training Branch, has developed a course for bomb technicians
on the safe destruction or disposal of explosive materials. The
Ad- vanced Explosives Destruction Techniques (AEDT) course was
developed as a response to the high number of injuries and deaths
to bomb technicians that have occurred in recent years. More accidents
have occurred while disposing of explosives than during "render
safe" (disarming a bomb or explosive device) operations.
In the last year and a half, ATF has worked with State & local
bomb technicians from around the country, along with representatives
from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department
of Transportation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and
others to develop the course. The goal was to provide a training
course that would cover the safety, legal, logistical, operational,
and health facets of explosives disposal or destruction

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