(AP) — Authorities said Tuesday that they’ve raised their estimate of the amount of improperly stored material at an explosives recycling company that was blamed for the evacuation of a Louisiana town.
Louisiana State Police spokesman Matt Harris said Tuesday that authorities estimate 10 million pounds of a military propellant called M6 was haphazardly stored at Explo Systems Inc. The previous estimate was 6 million pounds.
The M6 was discovered by a Louisiana State Police investigator who was looking into an explosion in October involving a different kind of material at Explo’s facility at Camp Minden, a Louisiana National Guard base east of Shreveport.
Authorities said M6 was found in overflowing containers and “hidden” among trees on the base.
The nearby town of Doyline was evacuated for a week in December because of concerns that any ignition — such as a lightning strike or a brush fire — could set off a massive chain-reaction blast.
Most of the M6 has been moved into bunkers on the base, but Harris said authorities are still looking for somewhere to house 3.5 million pounds that is in buildings. Harris stressed that the number is an estimate and could change. He also said the M6 is tested periodically and is stable.
Explo Systems officials have not responded to numerous messages.