Posted: Oct 16, 2012 7:26 AM MDT Updated: Oct 16, 2012 6:16 PM MDT
The explosion happened just before 8 a.m. in building 5400, the Aviation and Missile Research and Development Center.
A contract employee was handling a small explosive device when it went off. The area was evacuated and only the employee handling the device was injured.
HEMSI transferred the Dynetics employee to Huntsville Hospital. Redstone Arsenal officials said he suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Dynetics officials said he is a long-term employee of the company.
He had hand surgery on Tuesday, is in stable condition, and is expected to make a full recovery.
A thorough investigation will be conducted to determine the cause, and to prevent future incidents of this nature. The investigation is being conducted by the Redstone Arsenal’s Military Police investigative agencies and safety professionals from AMRDEC and Garrison Safety Offices. Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel from Fort Campbell, Ky., have also arrived to assist in the investigation.
This is the first injury from an explosion reported on the arsenal since two men were killed in an explosion in May, 2010.
Jerry A. Grimes, 58, of Hartselle and James R. Hawke, 53, of Hazel Green both died after an explosion at Aviation Missile Research Development and Engineering Center test area 10 at building 7352 on Flicker Road, near Gate 3. They worked for AMTEC Corporation, a Redstone contract partner that provides technical support to the U.S. Army elements.
They had been testing at the heavy demolition site for days before the incident.
Louisiana is known for its vast amount of natural resources onshore as well as offshore. While crude oil and natural gas are both being produced in massive quantities right here in our state, storage for these resources has to be considered.
Also, Louisiana is home to numerous salt dome storage caverns. While news stories have drawn some conclusions between the similarities of storage caverns used for natural gas and salt dome storage caverns used for salt mining operations, the differences are quite specific.
Recently, a four-acre sinkhole formed beneath Bayou Corne in Assumption Parish, likely due to a salt dome storage cavern collapse. This event has caused some concern to surrounding residents as to what caused it and how it can be further prevented.
The media were quick to run a story comparing the Bayou Corne incident and an instance that occurred decades ago beneath Lake Peigneur, where a salt mine collapsed. As technologies have drastically advanced, the two instances cannot be compared.
Bayou Corne is a salt-brining facility where the cavern is leached out and used for saltwater storage. The saltwater later is pumped out and used for industrial manufacturing.
There seems to be some confusion even by some elected officials as to the use of salt dome caverns such as the one in Assumption Parish, which is used for saltwater storage. Louisiana state Sen. Fred Mills again plans to introduce a bill before the state Legislature that would require companies to conduct an environmental impact statement before expanding natural gas storage caverns beneath Lake Peigneur. A similar bill he put before the Legislature last year failed.
Additional regulation of natural gas storage clearly is not the answer all due to an accidental leak at Bayou Corne that is unrelated to natural gas storage, or due to an event some 30 years ago. Additionally, the information in an environmental impact statement already has been submitted to the state conservation office for this project, just in a different format.
Hazmat experts have told Sheriff Gary Sexton that the underground bunker containing explosives that blew up late Monday night at Camp Minden worked exactly as designed to do.
After houses shook, home windows shattered and people were frightened as far as 60 miles from Camp Minden on Monday night just before midnight, prompting emergency evacuations of thousands of people, Sexton says he was told by Hazmat experts that the explosives worked exactly as they were designed to do.
Sexton describes the underground bunker, in “L-1 area” at the Camp Minden facility as an “igloo” constructed of concrete built in the 50s.
“The underground bunkers are designed to send any blast up instead of out to lessen the shock wave impact,” reports KSLA.
No one was injured in what has been reported to be at least ten explosions.
People felt up to ten explosion forces, the strongest just before 11:40 p.m. Monday.
People reported feeling the blast from Minden to Shreveport “and well beyond,’ reports KSLA.
“The explosion site was discovered right at sun-up.”
The explosions add to months of Louisiana’s ongoing underground hazards of late, including an over 4-acre sinkhole near a 1-mile by 3-mi;e underground salt dome storage facility in Assumption Parish.
A bunker at a northern Louisiana military compound exploded late Monday, briefly prompting speculation that the loud boom and shaking ground had been caused by meteorite .
Webster Parish officials confirmed Tuesday that the mysterious incident was a “contained” explosion at Camp Minden, a north Louisiana National Guard training site.
“The bunker did exactly what it was designed to do,” said Webster Parish Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bobby Igo, Jr. “There were no injuries – nobody hurt. We don’t know the cause at this point,” he told the Minden Press-Herald.
Residents had been scrambling to figure out what caused the massive boom, which broke windows and rattled homes and businesses around 11:30 pm CST. The blast shook a five mile area from Minden to Dixie Inn, about 30 miles from Shreveport.
Witnesses also reported seeing a flash of light.
The U.S. Geological Survey had no reports of earthquakes in the area and natural gas plants in the region said they had not suffered any explosions.
Some local officials guessed the incident could have been caused by a meteorite, noting that the Earth is currently being peppered by a meteor shower spawned by the famous Halley’s Comet.
But a NASA official told the Daily News the space agency was doubtful a meteorite caused the damage and did not expect to investigate.
“They hit everywhere, all the time,” NASA spokesman Steve Cole said of meteorites.
Finally, by Tuesday morning, Camp Minden confirmed they had been the source of the blast, which is still under investigation. The bunker belongs to a company called Explo, officials said.
For the safety of workers at Louisiana’s giant sinkhole, boats are not permitted on it anymore because removing hydrocarbons could cause pressure changes that could affect the expanding hole blamed on one company, while unexplained and dismissed gas bubbling 50 miles west of the sinkhole, at Lake Peigneur, increasingly worries locals there, who say they, too, experience energy human rights abuses.
Texas Brine, blamed for the Bayou Corne sinkhole and other environmental problems of late in the area, continued cleaning at the rapidly expanding hole site Monday. It was limited, however, because boats are no longer allowed on the sinkhole due to the activity of removing hydrocarbons from the cavern, according to officials.
“This is for the safety of workers as the removal of the hydrocarbons may cause pressure,” officials report.
The sinkhole is now expanded to over four acres and appears to be a lake in the Oct. 15 flyover video.
(Watch Oct. 15 sinkhole flyover video on the left of this page.)
The sinkhole appeared August 3, more than two months after local residents began noticing and reporting bubbles in the water. At Lake Peigneur, 50 miles west of the sinkhole, residents say they’ve seen bubbling around the lake, and believe it’s a warning sign.
Cause of Lake Peigneur bubbles 50 miles from sinkhole remains unanswered
A methane bubbling problem is not only making Assumption Parish residents worry. Residents near Lake Peigneur are also reporting new bubbles, according to KATC’s Maddie Garrett last week.
While the Department of Natural Resources says Texas Brine LLC is solely to blame for the expanding methane bubbles, earthquakes and sinkhole in the Bayou Corne vicinity, scientists have not determined the cause of new gas bubbling at Lake Peigneur, according to KATC.
“There’s bubbling on the south side of the lake, and it’s usually about the same spot,” said Lake Peigneur resident Louis Derise last week. “It’ll be a white foam that you can actually break up.”
“This has been home for our family for generations and I’d like to preserve it,” said Derise.
Louisiana Senator Fred Mills told KATC last week that, in light of the Bayou Corne incident, he will try and take action to prevent a similar disaster from happening at the salt domes beneath Lake Peigneur.
“Mills said he plans to introduce a bill for the second time that would require companies to conduct an environmental impact statement before expanding natural gas storage caverns at Lake Peigneur.
A similar bill introduced last year in the last legislative session failed. Sen. Mills told human rights reporter Deborah Dupré earlier this month that he and his constituents are now focusing on legislation regarding human rights-related public health and safety aspects of the gas storage caverns.
“It takes a lot of courage for Senator Mills to take this stance,” rights defender and member of Save Lake Peigneur Glo Conlin said to Dupré in an email recently. “Everyone is so afraid to speak up against this. So many people work in the oil and gas industry.”
“The cause of the bubbling in Lake Peigneur needs to be known and the permit to expand Jefferson Island Storage & Hub should not be issued,’ Conlin said in a separate email to Dupré.
“Eugene Owen, Director, Baton Rouge, & Iberia water companies, has said that the use of billions of gallons of water to leach the salt dome cavern out will cause more arsenic to be pulled into the Chicot aquifer.”
Chicot aquifer is the only fresh water source for 15 parishes.
DNR Declaration of Emergency and Directives list of orders to company, but where are human rights in corporatism?
As energy companies, like vampires, suck the lifeblood out of Americans, as Michael Payne wrote in OpEd News this weekend about corporatism, WAFB out of Baton Rouge, about 50 miles northeast of the sinkhole, provided the following summary of directives Texas Brine was ordered to perform in the Louisiana Department of Natural Resource’s Third Amendment to the Declaration of Emergency & Directives issued Oct 11, 2012:
On or before Tuesday, October 16, 2012:
Texas Brine must provide Dept. of Conservation with a plan for installing and monitoring additional Geoprobe wells to monitor water quality/ pressures in the Bayou Corne community; install & monitor permanent elevation benchmark at each Geoprobe well location by a professional licensed surveyor.
Texas Brine must provide Dept. of Conservation with a plan to install a continuous pressure monitor on Oxy Geismar #3- to monitor pressure and provide for telemetry monitoring of this pressure. This telemetry shall be reported in real time to the Assumption OEP , the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of Conservation to notify them if any rapid pressure changes that indicate changing conditions in the cavern.
On or before Friday, October 19, 2012:
Texas Brine must provide Dept. of Conservation with a plan to install a permanent continuous water level monitoring station near the edge of the sinkhole. This station shall include a sensor and recording system for monitoring and recording the water levels and a staff gauge for visual observation of water elevation or depth. The data from this station shall be downloaded weekly and forwarded to Dept. of Conservation on a weekly basis.
Texas Brine must provide Dept. of Conservation with a plan to evaluate the alluvial aquifer water production, groundwater flow, sinkhole chlorides, TDS (Total Dissolved Salinity) and hydrocarbon migration and to mitigate adverse impacts to aquifer sustainability from use of Texas Brine Company LLC’s water wells.
On or before Thursday, October 25, 2012:
Texas Brine must provide Dept. of Conservation with a plan to implement a seismic monitoring and notification system to allow for real time data processing and interpretation of micro-seismic data. The current array should be expanded as necessary to assess the current stability of the collapse zone. The seismic data shall be reported in real time to the Assumption OEP , the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of Conservation to notify them of sudden changes in the cavern or surrounding the sinkhole.
Texas Brine must begin installing the groundwater observation/vent well in the vicinity of the core-hole where the ten-feet of gas in the aquifer was observed.
On or before Tuesday, November 13, 2012:
Texas Brine must provide Dept. of Conservation with a plan to collect, interpret, and report geophysical data that will determine the nature and extent of the collapse structure from the base of the original cavern to the ground surface. This geophysical data may include (but not is limited to) vertical seismic profiling, cross-hole seismic and tomography, and 3D seismic.
“The continued growth of Corporatism in America is inflicting tremendous damage upon this nation and society,” wrote Payne this weekend.
“Corporatism might effectively be described as capitalism on steroids, spinning out of control, and poisoning and corrupting whatever it contacts. It has become a stifling, suffocating force that is sucking the lifeblood out of America,” Payne wrote.
“Profits and control are all that matter to them; they consider the principles of morality and ethics; integrity, fairness, honesty, justice and social responsibility to be meaningless; things that just get in the way.”
Sources: WAFB, Sen. Ted Mills, Save Lake Peigneur, Department of Natural Resources, Examiner, OpEd News
Deborah Dupré is author of the book, Vampire of Macondo, out next week.
Published on Oct 15, 2012 by idahopicker
Home depot said when I called.. “The generators are for a disaster and they were instructed by a govt agency to hold them till further notice.”
Posted: Oct 15, 2012 9:03 AM MDT Updated: Oct 15, 2012 2:01 PM MDT
BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) -Issues continue to pile on crews working on the growing sinkhole in Assumption Parish.Texas Brine, the company that owns a failed salt cavern blamed for the sinkhole says it will comply with new orders.Texas Brine continues clean up Monday, but is limited to skimming as boats will not be allowed in the sinkhole due to the activity of removing hydrocarbons from the cavern. This is for the safety of workers as the removal of the hydrocarbons may cause pressure changes that could affect the sinkhole.The current size of the sinkhole is just under four acres.
State officials are ordering further testing along with monitoring and removal of natural gas trapped underground.
Residents are still evacuated; they left their homes in early August.
Below is a summary of the directives that Texas Brine was ordered to perform in DNR’s Third Amendment to the Declaration of Emergency & Directives (issued on 10/11/2012).
On or before Tuesday, October 16, 2012:
On or before Friday, October 19, 2012:
On or before Thursday, October 25, 2012:
On or before Tuesday, November 13, 2012:
The two leading congressional investigators into the 2010 BP oil disaster are pressing the company to turn over all information related to the ongoing oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast that’s been traced to the failed Macondo well.
Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) wrote a letter this week to BP CEO Robert Dudley requesting a briefing on the possible causes of the oil release by Oct. 30. Markey and Waxman are the ranking members respectively of the Natural Resources Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee.
The company has said it believes the oil probably came from the riser, a piece of pipe that connected the drilling rig to the well.
“This recent report of a new oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon’s riser raises questions about BP’s efforts to stem the long-term impacts of the 2010 oil spill,” the congressmen wrote.
Last month BP reported the sheen to the U.S. Coast Guard, which conducted tests that found the oil matched that from BP’s Macondo well. The Coast Guard approved a joint plan from BP and Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, to use satellite imagery and remotely-operated vehicles to survey the ocean floor around the site.
The oil release at the site did not arise out of the blue last month, however: As far back as August 2011, watchdogs with the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) reported oil on the water’s surface above the exact location of the Macondo well.
“Oil in the water harms whales, bluefin tuna, and many other species, and it’s unacceptable that two years later, BP hasn’t been able to secure their disaster site,” GRN Deputy Director Aaron Viles blogged last week.
At the same time BP is coming under pressure to answer questions about the ongoing oil release, federal lawmakers are putting heat on the Obama administration to ensure the company pays fully for the damages caused by the Gulf disaster.
Earlier this month, eight U.S. senators sent a letter to President Obama calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to negotiate a settlement of the BP oil spill case that holds the company and other responsible parties accountable under every applicable law. Signing the letter were Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
The letter was a response to recent press reports that suggested DOJ was considering a settlement agreement involving a low penalty under the Clean Water Act in exchange for a higher penalty under the Oil Pollution Act’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment. The senators are concerned such a plan would violate the intention of the bipartisan RESTORE Act, which directs 80 percent of the penalties BP pays under the Clean Water Act to Gulf states for economic and ecological restoration efforts. The RESTORE Act had broad support from Gulf political leaders and environmental advocates.
“The Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act have different objectives, and the parties responsible for the spill should be held fully accountable under both,” the letter stated. “Complete ecological and economic recovery of the Gulf Coast can only occur if just penalty amounts are assessed under every applicable statute.”
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