DOD Continues To Fund Kilgore Despite Deaths And Citations

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(Toone, TN) The ATF has wrapped up its initial investigation into the Kilgore Flares explosion.

It says it will be looking into its findings Wednesday and then Thursday will announce whether the explosion was accident or criminal.

If accidental, OSHA and other agencies will investigate to see if the explosion that took a man's life was caused by workplace violations.

OSHA says it will likely be six to eight  weeks before it learns whether the explosion was because of safety problems. If was caused by that, citations would be added on to the ones that Kilgore Flares already has.

"I want people to know this is not an isolated incident," said Tammy Murphy.

Murphey lost her husband to a Kilgore explosion in 1986.

Since then, a handful of other workers have died, including Michael Chism just this week.

A death in 2010 caused OSHA to cite the plant for a total of 28 workplace violations.

The company is still contesting the citations and fines of about $350,000.

Despite the death in 2010, just last year the Department of Defense granted Kilgore another $20 million to manufacture decoy flares for the US Army and Air Force.

"I don't understand it," said Murphy.

"Hopefully they will use that money to make it safer for them," said Lisa Griffin, a Toone resident.

The ATF wrapped up its on-scene investigation  into Saturday's explosion Tuesday.

It's findings will be passed onto OSHA and if more workplace violations are found, more citations could come.

While Kilgore Flares is the primary employer for people living in in Toone, Tenn.

Some say the plant may be too dangerous.

"Its got enough stuff in there to blow up the whole town," said Kattie Jones, the aunt of Michael Chism.

Too dangerous, they say, with too many lives lost.

"In a lot of ways it's their only choice but they shouldn't have to die because that's the only job," said Murphy

The ATF says it's going to be able to tell us more Thursday about what caused the explosion that took the life of a husband and father of five.

1 Comment

  • t

    the state should provide employees that they know will provide a safe work place for the saftey of others and community

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