5 injured in explosion at Letterkenny Army Depot


Officials now say five employees were injured by a small explosion and fire at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Franklin County.

Depot commander Col. Stephen Ledbetter said three workers were flown to Baltimore area hospitals after the explosion and resulting fire in a major production area around 7:20 a.m. Thursday.

Ledbetter did not specify what injuries the workers received and did not have their conditions, but he said the civilian employees sustained injuries he would “classify as serious.”

The Franklin Fire Company said the workers were airlifted for burns.

Another worker was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment of minor non-burn injuries and released.

A fifth worker was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation and later released, the depot said in a news release issued around 5 p.m.

The explosion occurred in Building 350, a 320,000 square foot facility is used for painting military vehicles and equipment. The injured workers were “supporting painting operations,” Ledbetter said.

More than 300 workers were evacuated from the building then sent home for the day. Second and third-shift workers were told not to report.

Ledbetter said they expected to resume normal operations in the paint area on Sunday, beginning with the third shift.

Normal operations continue across the rest of the depot.

Officials continue to investigate what caused the explosion. Ledbetter said the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is assisting, and they’re looking at “all angles, all avenues.”

He said there is “no suspicion of terrorist activity at this time.”

Letterkenny employs about 3,000 people. It is the second-largest employer in Franklin County.

The depot is under the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command. It supplies U.S. troops with guided missiles, air support defense equipment, and ground vehicles.

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