VIDEO — Ponca City’s M J & H Fabrication aids in explosive problem in Louisiana
PONCA CITY, Okla. — The State of Louisiana has a 15 million pound explosives problem that must be fixed quickly or a repeat of an Oct. 15, 2012 explosion is likely in the near future. A Ponca City, Oklahoma, company has constructed a chamber to keep that from happening.
Reports show that the explosion was the result of unsecured M6 explosives at Camp Minden in Minden, Louisiana. The blast resulted in shattered windows in the city and a 7,000-foot-high mushroom cloud.
Louisiana State Police investigating the explosion found millions of pounds of unsecured M6 explosive, which is commonly used as howitzer gunpowder, all of which was reported to be improperly stored. The explosives were under the ownership and control of a company called Explo Systems, Inc. which had purportedly acquired the material in 2010 from the U.S. Army for purposes of destruction, which the company did not accomplish.
Due to the deteriorating conditions of the storage and stability of the propellant, the Army Explosive Safety Board advised that auto ignition of the M6 and other stored explosive materials could begin as early as the fall of 2015.
Currently there are approximately 18 million pounds of M6 and other explosive material being stored in 97 storage bunkers/magazines at the facility located about 28 miles east of Shreveport.
The Louisiana State Police ordered Explo Systems to immediately store the materials providing protection from the weather (heat, rain, cold) conditions. Weather conditions have a direct impact on the stabilizer used in explosives and propellants, and cause the stabilizer to deteriorate.
After completing the relocation of materials into enclosed structures (buildings and bunkers) within Camp Minden, Explo Systems, Inc. filed bankruptcy and abandoned the materials in August 2013. The State of Louisiana National Guard (Military Department) thereafter took ownership of the abandoned materials located on their property, the 15,000-acre Camp Minden.
The Louisiana governor declared a State of Emergency and ordered a process of destruction to be identified as soon as possible.
Various methods of disposal were discussed including open burning, a controversial method strongly opposed by environmental groups. After reviewing several alternative methods, the EPA in conjunction with a Citizens’ Advisory Group announced that an incinerator in the form of a Contained Burn System would be used. The plan is to dismantle the incinerator and remove it after burns are finished.
The chamber for the system was constructed in Ponca City by M J & H Fabrication, Inc. which is located in the Ponca City Airport Industrial Park. It will be part of a “Contained Burn Chamber” destruction method in which the chamber will be connected to an environmental system that is state of the art. There is only one other system like this in the world located in Denmark.
Video and image courtesy of Ponca City Development Authority
Source: Ponca City News
Source: Ponca City Development Authority