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Wed Apr 24, 2019, 06:30 AM

After Deadly Explosion At Lake City Munitions Plant, The Business Of War Proves Costly

Two years after an explosion at a crucial Army factory that is the country’s largest producer of small-caliber ammunition, the underlying cause of Lawrence Bass Jr.’s death remains unclear.

Bass, a longtime employee, followed explosives-handling procedures later deemed to be poorly written. He worked for a defense contractor anxious to slash costs on a government contract it had underbid.

The ammunition plant run by that contractor suffers from a worker safety record far worse than its peers. The facility on the outskirts of Independence, Missouri, is “still making ammunition the old-fashioned way,” according to the Congressional testimony of a three-star general.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ruled the April 11, 2017, explosion at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant was accidental, but subsequent investigations found a series of safety concerns that may have caused the blast.


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