Explosion at Camp Minden under investigation

UPDATE: Explosion at Camp Minden

WEBSTER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Officials are investigating yet another explosion at a former Army base in the ArkLaTex.

It happened at Camp Minden Tuesday morning at 8:36 a.m. inside of an area known as "Area G," owned by GOEX Powder. The company makes black powder used by the military and also used for fireworks.

According to GOEX officials, it was a small explosion that started at an unmanned machine. GOEX COO Tim Vaitekumas says there was no fire and minimal damage. No injuries were reported.

It's the second explosion at Camp Minden in less than a month. On October 15, a blast in an underground bunker owned by Explo, Inc. shook the area, shattering windows in homes and businesses up to a few miles away. Officials are drawing no connection or similarities between the two incidents.

"There was a 'boom,'" says Webster Parish Sheriff's Chief Deputy Bobby Igo, "There's no structural damage. There's no equipment damage. It was an unmanned situation. The fire suppression equipment worked perfectly."

"I thought about the last explosion we had and dismissed it and thought what are the chances," says Miranda Thompson.

Thompson owns a downtown Minden store called The Vault. In last month's explosion the two front windows of her storefront were shattered. This time there was no damage.

"I think Camp Minden is pretty secure. I don't think anyone would get hurt unless they are actually working at the plant. It doesn't bother me just something you have to deal with," says Miranda Thompson.

The company's last explosion was in June of 2011. The military, ATF and Louisiana State Police are involved in the investigation. They are waiting for the smoke to clear inside the building before they can get in and take a closer look at what happened.

KSLA News 12 has a crew on the scene at Camp Minden. Look for continuous updates on ksla.com and KSLA News 12.

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