Charlestown, IN Ammunition Plant Explosion, Nov 1969


Charlestown, Ind. (UPI) -- Two persons were killed and 26 others were injured Tuesday night in the second explosion in a week at the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant here.
Lt. Col. G. R. Daugherty, the plant commander, said no damage estimate had been made and a formal investigation would begin "shortly" in to the cause of the blast.
Daugherty said there was no suspicion of sabotage.
The dead were identified as:
MISS EMMA B. DOSS, Charlestown.
PAUL R. PITMAN, Greensburg, Ky.
One of the injured, HUBERT BLEM of Floyds Knob, was listed in serious condition at Clark County Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, and three others were hospitalized for observation, Daugherty said. The other injured were treated for minor injuries and released.
An explosion at the same plant a week ago injured six persons.
A minor fire broke out in the building torn by the latest blast but was extinguished quickly, officials said. The explosion could be heard and felt within a 15-mile radius, witnesses said.
Daugherty said the explosion occurred in an area where propellant for 81-millimeter mortars is loaded.
The plant is operated by Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp. for the U.S. Defense Department. It makes powder for M-16 rifle cartridges used by American and South Vietnamese forces in the Vietnam conflict.
The blast a week ago today injured six persons, none seriously, and occurred in a dehydrating press house in the outer manufacturing area of the plant.

Logansport Pharos-Tribune and Press Indiana 1969-11-26