Webster S.O. confirms bunker explosion at Camp Minden - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Breaking news

Webster S.O. confirms bunker explosion at Camp Minden

All photos courtesy Minden Press Herald All photos courtesy Minden Press Herald
WEBSTER PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton says hazmat experts tell him the underground bunker containing explosives that blew up late Monday night at Camp Minden worked exactly as it was designed to do.

Sexton describes the bunker, in the "L-1 area," as an "igloo," constructed of concrete. He says they were built in the 50s. The underground bunkers are designed to send any blast up instead of out to lessen the shock wave impact. No one was injured.

The force of the explosion was felt across a wide area just before 11:40 p.m. Monday, with reports of people feeling the blast from Minden to Shreveport and well beyond. The explosion site was discovered right at sun-up.

The National Weather Service later issued a statement describing radar imagery showing a debris/smoke plume right around 11:30 p.m. approximately one and one half miles southwest of Dixie Inn, which is where the Camp Minden Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant is located. The NWS says the debris plume drifted northwest at about 10 miles per hour and dissipated after about 30 minutes.

Webster Chief Deputy Bobby Igo says the bunker belongs to a company called Explo Systems, Inc. A news conference was scheduled for 9 a.m. to be held by officials from Explo was pushed to 11 a.m., but that was canceled at the last minute with no explanation given.

When reached by phone, Explo Chief Operations Officer Terri Wright would only say he had no comment. Neither Explo nor authorities have said yet what kind of explosives were stored in the bunker.

State Police, the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office and the military will investigate exactly what caused the explosion.

Webster Sheriff Gary Sexton says there are numerous reports of collateral damage, mostly consisting of broken windows. But he says there has been some structural damage.

Earlier in the morning, Sexton said there was a "possibility that a meteor did hit the ground" in the area, but that theory was put to rest with the confirmation of the blast at the Camp Minden bunker.

The event resulted in a flood of phone calls to the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office, as well as to the KSLA News 12 newsroom.

KSLA News 12 viewer Shana Levick tells us she was driving on I-20 by Dixie Inn when she saw the sky light up a bright orange color.  She said she could see what appeared to be small fire sparks above the tree lines.

Callers are also reporting seeing a bright light flash in the sky when they heard the boom.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • McNeese Fall fee deadline approaching

    McNeese Fall fee deadline approaching

    Friday, July 21 2017 4:56 PM EDT2017-07-21 20:56:31 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    The fee deadline for students registered online at McNeese State University is coming up. Students registered for the upcoming Fall semester have until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 16 to pay fees. McNeese has a new payment plan going into effect this Fall.

    More >>

    The fee deadline for students registered online at McNeese State University is coming up. Students registered for the upcoming Fall semester have until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 16 to pay fees. McNeese has a new payment plan going into effect this Fall.

    More >>
  • Welsh police chief will get another shot at raise

    Welsh police chief will get another shot at raise

    Friday, July 21 2017 4:42 PM EDT2017-07-21 20:42:08 GMT

    A few weeks ago, the Welsh town council voted on the $15,000 dollar raise for Police Chief Marcus Crochet, but deadlocked, meaning no pay increase. The council will hold a public meeting August 1 to again discuss raising the police chief's salary from $40,000 a year to $55,000 a year. 

    More >>

    A few weeks ago, the Welsh town council voted on the $15,000 dollar raise for Police Chief Marcus Crochet, but deadlocked, meaning no pay increase. The council will hold a public meeting August 1 to again discuss raising the police chief's salary from $40,000 a year to $55,000 a year. 

    More >>
  • Donations needed for DeQuincy veterans memorial

    Donations needed for DeQuincy veterans memorial

    Friday, July 21 2017 4:30 PM EDT2017-07-21 20:30:58 GMT
    DeQuincy Railroad Museum (Source: Facebook)DeQuincy Railroad Museum (Source: Facebook)

    A new veterans memorial is in the works for the town of DeQuincy.

    It will be a replication of "Raising the Flag" in Japan during World War II, and will honor area veterans like the Clifton brothers, who returned to their hometown of DeQuincy after serving in the war.

    More >>

    A new veterans memorial is in the works for the town of DeQuincy.

    It will be a replication of "Raising the Flag" in Japan during World War II, and will honor area veterans like the Clifton brothers, who returned to their hometown of DeQuincy after serving in the war.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly