ATF: Kilgore Plant explosion was accidental, non-criminal - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

ATF: Kilgore Plant explosion was accidental, non-criminal

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TOONE, Tenn. (FOX13) -

In a preliminary report released Thursday the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the Feb. 23 explosion at the Kilgore Flares plant in Toone that resulted in the death of an employee, was deemed non-criminal in nature and was classified as an accidental explosion.

The explosion occurred in a mixing room and resulted in the death of one employee.

MORE: Kilgore plant employee involved in explosion dies
MORE: Federal authorities investigate Kilgore plant explosion

On Sunday, the NRT joined the explosives investigation into the Chemring Countermeasures (Kilgore Flares) manufacturing plant, which holds federal firearms and explosives licenses.

DOWNLOAD: OHSA report on Kilgore Flares incidents

The incident caused considerable monetary damage, and resulted in the severe injury and eventual death of Michael Chism, who was pronounced deceased Feb. 24 while being treated for severe burns at Regional One Health in Memphis.

DOWNLOAD: Statement from KIlgore Flares on explosion investigation

"Condolences are with the family of Michael Chism during this traumatic event," said Hardeman County Sheriff John Doolen. "The community suffered a great loss due to this devastating incident."

The NRT team, led by Central Region Team Supervisor Steve Cordle, arrived on-scene Sunday, and began the investigation Monday.

The NRT, along with ATF special agents from the Nashville Field Division responded with the Hardeman County Sheriff's Office and other first responders.  The United States Attorney's Office-Western Judicial District of Tennessee, Tennessee State Bomb and Arson Section, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Toone Tennessee Fire Department, Hardeman County Emergency Management, Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration are assisting with the investigation.

"ATF is committed to working alongside its state and local partners, bringing its expertise to determine the origin and cause of the explosion, and provide whatever resources necessary to thoroughly investigate and provide answers," said ATF Nashville Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Fulton.

The teams are each composed of veteran special agents who have post-blast and fire origin-and-cause expertise, forensic chemists, explosives enforcement officers, fire protection engineers, accelerant detection canines, explosives detection canines, intelligence support, computer forensic support, and audit support.  The teams work alongside state and local officers in reconstructing the scene, identifying the seat of the blast or origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris to obtain evidence related to the bombing/arson.

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