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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 18, 2014
Contact: Contact: PIO Michael Knight

ATF National Response Team Investigates Plant Explosion

MCEWEN, Tenn. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced that the National Response Team (NRT) will arrive on scene today to begin processing the site of a plant explosion and fire that caused one fatality and injured three others. The explosion and fire, on a property where several businesses are licensed to manufacture explosives and ammunition, also caused considerable monetary damage. ATF Special Agent in Charge, Jeff Fulton stated, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased and injured during this traumatic event.  The community suffered a great loss due to this devastating incident.”

The NRT team, led by Central Region Team Supervisor Special Agent Steve Cordle, will arrive on-scene today to begin the investigation. The NRT investigated the February 2014 explosion that resulted in the death of an employee at Chemring Manufacturing located in Toone, Tenn.

In 1978, ATF developed the NRT to bring its expertise to federal, state and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant explosives and arson incidents.  The NRT consists of four teams organized geographically to cover the United States.  Each team can respond within 24 hours to assist state and local law enforcement/fire service personnel in onsite investigations.

The teams are each composed of veteran special agents who have post-blast and fire origin-and-cause expertise, forensic chemists, explosives enforcement officers, fire protection engineers, accelerant detection canines, explosives detection canines, intelligence support, computer forensic support, and audit support.  The teams work alongside state and local officers in reconstructing the scene, identifying the seat of the blast or origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris to obtain evidence related to the bombing/arson.

Further complementing the teams’ efforts are technical, legal, and intelligence advisers.  Moreover, a fleet of fully equipped response vehicles strategically located throughout the United States is available to provide logistical support.

This is the 6th NRT activation in fiscal year 2014 and the 753rd since its inception.

In addition to investigating hundreds of scenes, the NRT has also been activated to scenes such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma City federal building bombing and the Sept. 11, 2001, Pentagon crash site, West Texas explosion, as well as blasts at explosives and ammunition manufacturing plants, legal fireworks factories and illegal explosive device manufacturing operations.

The NRT, along with ATF special agents from the Nashville Field Division are collaboratively working with the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office-Bomb and Arson Section, Humphrey County Sheriff’s Office and the Humphrey County Emergency Management Agency.

More information on ATF can be found at






Nashville Field Division