Explosion Reported At Camp Minden In Webster Parish
KSLA-TV reports that there was an explosion Friday morning at Camp Minden in Webster Parish. The reports say that the explosion was confirmed by the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office.
The explosion is reported to have happened at a black powder facility just before 10am on Friday morning. The Webster Parish Sheriff, Jason Parker, told KSLA that there were 15 employees at the Camp Minden facility at the time of the explosion, and that all were able to escape safely.
Fire and EMS crews were dispatched to the scene, and the fire department was able to contain the fire before noon. No injuries were reported.
The Sheriff made it clear that there was no eminent danger to the public, and was no need for any kind of public evacuations. However there will be an observance period at the site to make sure no other explosions or fires happen before the facility is reopened in anyway. The Louisiana State Police have deployed Hazmat crews to the scene.
So far there have been no reports, or indications, or what may have caused the explosion and fire.
This isn't the first time Camp Minden has dealt with explosions on the site. It was almost 10 years ago when a massive explosion rocked the Webster and Bossier Parish areas. The night of October 15th, 2012 was marked by an explosion that rocked the ground, and blew out windows in homes. It wasn't until years later that a trial brought resolution to that night.
In 2018, 5 high ranking officials from the company Explo Systems were sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay millions of dollars in fines for that explosion. The US Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana at that time, David Joseph, said during the proceedings that Camp Minden was the largest illegal dumping ground for military explosives in US history. Those sentenced were found to have submitted falsified paperwork to the US Army, and ordered low level employees to cover up their improper storage practices.