December 3 (RIA Novosti) - Residents in a small town in the state of Louisiana are being evacuated after authorities discovered 6 million pounds (2,721,554 kg) of explosives that were allegedly illegally stored by a company that is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
“It wasn’t in their storage magazines. They had it hidden on the property, away from the storage magazines where we would expect to find it,” said captain Doug Cain, a Louisiana state police spokesman, about the boxes of M6 artillery propellant used in howitzers and other artillery found outside and stored in unauthorized buildings by Explo Systems Inc.
Police are evacuating the 800 residents that live in the town of Doyline, which is located about 270 miles (434 km) northwest of New Orleans, after the company’s “careless and reckless disregard made it unsafe for their own employees, for schoolchildren in Doyline, for the town of Doyline,” state police superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson said.
Explo Systems Inc. operates its business out of Camp Minden, the former Louisiana Army Ammunitions Plant that is now leased for commercial uses, the Associated Press reported.
Authorities began investigating the company after an explosion occurred at the site on October 15, leading police to believe the initial total of explosives was 1 million pounds (453,592 kg).
The propellant is currently being moved into bunkers and approved containers by authorities. The evacuation will be lifted once the artillery is distributed into amounts that won’t threaten the town if ignited, the AP reported.