Radford, VA Ammunition Plant Explosion, Aug 1970

AMMO PLANT BLAST KILLS 2 AT RADFORD.

Radford, Va. (UPI) - Two employees were killed and four persons received minor injuries early today when an explosion and fire of undetermined origin ripped a propellant powder processing building at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant.
The government-owned arsenal, operated by the Hercules Co., of Wilmington, Del., manufactures such military hardware as TNT, missiles and rockets, missile motors and various types of missile
and rocket propellants.
Killed in the explosion were:
GILBERT G. KILLEN, of Dublin.
WALLACE L. DOYLE, of Christiansburg.
The explosion occurred in a heavily bunkered, two-story wooden building used in the pre-blending of power propellants, a plant spokesman said. The building, valued at $200,000, was destroyed, but the fire was restricted to the blast area, according to the spokesman.
The blast caused minor damage to other buildings at the munitions plant in Pulaski County about seven miles from this southwestern Virginia community.
The force of the explosion was felt in two counties. The explosion itself illuminated areas as far as 10 miles away. The arsenal was cordoned off amid the confusion of the midnight shift change.
It was the first fatal on-the-job accident at the arsenal in about five years.
Five of the six employees killed or injured were in the building when it exploded. Another was passing by.
Injured or suffering shock were:
ROY L. CHRISLEY, of Barren Springs.
MADELINE E. SHELBURNE, of Radford.
EVERETT E. ROBERTSON, of Narrows.
GLEN O. GOAD, of Hillsville.

Raleigh Register Beckley West Virginia 1970-08-28