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Back in April, ATK landed a $2.5b government contract for a year’s worth of 5.56 caliber ammunition. Last week, ATK scored a $8.4b contract for seven years worth of small caliber ammo. Residents of Independence, Missouri would do well to remember that a booming business can go BOOM! To wit: “Three train cars carrying ammunition to an Orenburg region military base exploded Tuesday,” reports, “sending a white cloud of smoke into the air and causing emergency workers to evacuate thousands of residents from the surrounding area. As a result of the explosions, which took place at the Donguzsky base at about 1 p.m. local time, up to 10,000 residents of two nearby towns are being evacuated, emergency officials told Interfax.” Safety Susie says safety first, last and whenever you’re dealing with epic amounts of explosive material.

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  1. Was this assembled ammunition, or incoming cars of smokless powder? I kind of doubt assembled rounds would detonate like that.

  2. I got knocked ass over apetite by the shock wave off a truly large explosion. Never recovered my glasses and my head felt like it was stuffed with cotton for 2-3 days after. That was over 35 years ago and my ears have been ringing since.

    One of the guys that died didn’t have much external damage on his body but he was broken up inside. One of the guys was pretty much vaporised. I don’t know if they even found his tags.

  3. I grew up 2.5 miles from Lake City. In the late 80s a bunker to exploded, it was unbelievable. I’ve seen a lot of things go “boom” since then, but nothing like that.

  4. Small arms ammo does not appear to have been the culprit. According to RIA-Novosti, the ammo included “1,379 tons of 100-mm shells, 400 tons of aviation bombs, and 2,000 280-mm rockets from Uragan multiple rocket launchers.”

    Small fires can touch off some big ordnance explosions. See, e.g., the “Black Tom” explosion, a WW1 act of sabotage in Jersey City, NJ.

  5. I’m from Independence and have friends that work for ATK out at the plant. I have confidence that they are safe in their work, but the plant is also quite a ways away from the main population.


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