Two Dead in Explosion at New Hampshire Gun Factory, One Injured

Blasts lasted for at least two hours, nearby homes evacuated


 
 

LISA RATHKE Associated Press Writer | | Friday, May 14, 2010


COLEBROOK, N.H. (AP) -- Multiple explosions at a gun and ammunition manufacturing plant in far northern New Hampshire on Friday killed two people, shook buildings blocks away, filled the sky with black smoke and forced the evacuation of dozens of homes.

State Fire Marshal Bill Degnan confirmed the deaths at the MDM Muzzleloader building in Colebrook. He said the two victims, along with another person who received minor injuries, were the only people in the building at the time.

The blasts started just after 1 p.m. and continued for at least two hours as ammunition exploded, said Mia West, Colebrook's public information officer. She said firefighters initially were unable to get close enough to fight the blaze because ammunition was still going off more than two hours after the first blast.

"We did hear two distinct bangs," said Karen Ladd, editor and publisher of The News and Sentinel newspaper in Colebrook. She thought something had hit the roof of her building. "It knocked a picture off of my wall, right next to my desk. I will admit I panicked and I said, 'Get out!'"

Degnan said the fire continued to burn more than four hours the explosion was reported, and that it was too soon to determine the cause.

"We're just getting into the investigation and trying to determine the details," he said.

About 40 nearby homes were evacuated, and some residents reported hearing the explosion up to a mile and a half away, West said. Displaced residents were offered accommodations at The Balsams Grand Resort and Hotel in nearby Dixville Notch.

Several communities in New Hampshire and Vermont sent fire crews.

"It's just major, major explosions and black powder," said Mishel Fenn, a bartender at the Colebrook House motel, who felt the blast two blocks away. "It shook the building, and I'm in a large building."

Calls to company officials were not immediately returned Friday. According to a report in a January issue of The Colebrook Chronicle, a weekly newspaper, a worker at the plant suffered serious injuries to his face and wrist when he a machine that processes gunpowder flashed in his face. That fire was put out quickly.

Colebrook is about 140 miles north of the capital city of Concord and 10 miles from the Canadian border.

Associated Press Writers Holly Ramer and Kathy McCormack in Concord, N.H., and Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vt., contributed to this report.



Related Links:


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, explosion

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >