published Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Blast on site of explosives plants 55 miles west of Nashville kills 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An explosion and fire at a plant in Tennessee where several ammunition and explosives businesses are based has killed one person and left three injured.

Police and fire dispatchers said rescue workers were called Wednesday afternoon to a blast at a plant in McEwen, about 55 miles west of Nashville.

The property where the plant is based is home to several businesses that have federal licenses for ammunition or explosives, said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman Michael Knight. Knight said it was unclear which plant was involved, and he said agents were still trying to determine exactly what happened.

"The explosion did considerable damage to the facility," said Odell Poyner, director of the Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency.

Poyner said authorities received reports that about 20 employees were in the building at the time of the explosion, which blew out two of the walls and a large portion of the roof. He said he didn't know who owned the building but he believed that the property it sits on belongs to Accurate Energetic Systems, a company whose website identifies it as a manufacturer of explosive materials for the defense and aerospace industries.

A telephone number listed for AES rang busy numerous times and later was picked up by a recording saying the business was closed.

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