Scars of Camp Minden explosion linger

Scars of Camp Minden explosion linger
Gordon Barron shows us damage to his home two years after the Camp Minden explosion
Gordon Barron shows us damage to his home two years after the Camp Minden explosion

MINDEN, LA (KSLA) - The scars remain, long after the dust settled from that giant explosion 2 years ago in Camp Minden. Now, some of those affected most are keeping a close eye on the unfolding situation on what to do with all that M6 propellant discovered in the aftermath of the blast.

KSLA News 12 has followed this story from the very beginning, in the fall of 2012, when a blast shook the ArkLaTex. It was only after that explosion that authorities would stumble upon the million of pounds of M6 artillery propellant improperly stored at Camp Minden.

On Thursday, the first Minden Dialogue Committee meeting took place, to look for alternatives to dispose of that material, rather than burn it out in the open. It was the idea of an open burn that prompted a public outcry. Now some of the same victims of that huge blast 28 months ago are watching the committee process unfold.

They're still worried that all the propellant could explode before a final solution can get underway.

"See right there," said Gordon Barron, as he pointed to the hairline fractures running the length of his ceiling in his living room. It is a lasting reminder of the huge explosion at Camp Minden that shook the ArkLaTex late on the night of Monday, October 15, 2012.

Gordon and his wife Faye still live less than a mile from where the bunker blast happened near the eastern portion of Camp Minden. "I don't know how to explain it but how it shook the house so bad," recalled Faye Barron.

In fact, that explosion shoved the house several inches off its foundation. Gordon Barron described just knowing something serious was wrong with his home. "You could feel it. When you walked across the floor you could feel it."

Within days of the bunker blast, repair crews arrived at the Barron's manufactured home, just north of Highway 80 on McIntyre Road in Minden. They put the home back onto its foundation properly. But there was still the damage inside. They decided that they didn't want their insurance company to foot that bill. Now two years later, they're still hoping to join a class action lawsuit."

In their kitchen, Faye got on the phone during our visit. "I was calling about that class action lawsuit," started Faye. Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton had given the Barron's a phone number for that class action lawsuit. It was the number for attorney Kyle Robinson in Bossier City.

During Faye's call, they could not confirm whether or not their names are on the list of people involved in that class action lawsuit. She was told a form would be mailed to her, to fill out and return. As for the status of that case, she was told it's stopped right now after the bankruptcy of Explo Systems, Inc., the company behind the massive explosion.

For now, Faye and Gordon Barron will watch the Minden Dialogue Committee's actions carefully, to make sure all that M6 propellant is disposed of properly. They also want to make sure there's no repeat performance that would ever damage their home again.

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