Update: Federal Investigators Now Think Fireworks, Chemicals Caused Fatal Blast Kansas City

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This explosion was initially thought to be caused by a gas explosion. Blast cause now attributed to fireworks and chemicals ( note the work "think" in the update:

Federal Investigators Now Think Fireworks, Chemicals Caused Fatal Blast Kansas City, KS, United States 1/15/2000- 5:30 PM ----- Information Added: Monday, January 17, 2000 - 12:16 PM ----- The explosion Saturday evening was caused by an illegal basement stash of fireworks and chemicals used for their manufacture, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

Authorities waited for the ATF agent to arrive and identify what chemicals remained in the basement. They were concerned about potential harm they posed for personnel at the scene from the Kansas City police and fire departments, the ATF and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The force of the blast was apparent Sunday afternoon. Boards and other bits of wreckage were lodged in the topmost limbs of a tree, perhaps 100 feet tall, that overhangs the collapsed house.

The force of the blast also heavily damaged the house next door, which was subsequently destroyed by fire.

Although investigators had not determined why the victim had commercial-grade fireworks and related chemicals in his basement, one neighbor said he believed the man was in the fireworks business.

Investigators also warned residents in the neighborhoodto be on the lookout for debris in their yards that could be dangerous. They were expecially concerned about commercial fireworks, high-intensity explosives that are used in municipal fireworks displays. They found several such devices in the victim's yard and one on a neighboring property a short distance away.

Keeping such devices in one's home is illegal, the ATF said.

Workers for the EPA removed several drums of explosive chemicals from the basement. Although the chemicals found on the premises are not difficult to purchase, ATF said it is illegal --- and extremely dangerous --- to store them in a residential area.

"People don't realize the damage it could do," ATF's Larry Scott said. "Static electricity can set it off. Heat, friction [and] any open flame. We can't wear nylon clothes when we deal with this stuff because of the static electricity buildup. It's so unpredictable."

Link to current story


Link to earlier story with gas explosion reference:


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 18, 2000


The police think the moron was a part-time pyrotechnician. He stored all of his stuff in his basement.

Bad idea when you go down there to weld copper plumbing, like he did on the day of the blast. Duh.

-- Etta James (ej@umkc.edu), January 18, 2000.

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