- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
Explosives found near LHS
Apr 11, 2006 12:00 am
April 5, 2006 Federal and state authorities removed a number of dangerous and possibly illegally stored explosives from the grounds of a Lebanon construction company Tuesday, after investigators declared the site – located next to Lebanon High School – extremely dangerous.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Industry Operations Investigators arrived at Little Joe's Construction, located at 224 Knoxville Ave., Tuesday morning and uncovered inadequately stored explosives, an ATF spokesman said.
"Explosives were identified at the scene. And based on the type of storage facility and for public safety, ATF agents and the Tennessee Highway Patrol Special Operations Unit were dispatched to that area to render safe those explosives," said Eric Kehn, an ATF agent and public information officer for the ATF's Nashville Field Division. "And that scene is still being worked."
Kehn said investigators determined the explosives were not being stored properly and called in ATF special agents and the Tennessee Highway Patrol's Tactical/Bomb Squad to secure the area.
Kehn said the fact that the construction site was so close to a school was "a definite concern to us."
The Lebanon Police Department shut down sections of Knoxville Avenue, Gulf Street, Tennessee Boulevard and Park Avenue up to Baddour Parkway while ATF and THP agents ferried the explosives to the James E. Ward Agricultural Center for destruction.
Agents soaked the explosives in diesel fuel and ignited them in a field, police officials said.
But the extraction was further complicated by the vicinity of the high school, as well as the fact school was letting out as agents were getting underway.
"With school getting out at the time, we had to be even more cautious, so we blocked the roads off completely," Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said.
There was no word on the the type or amount of explosives recovered and destroyed. Nor was there any indication given about whether this was a routine or surprise inspection.
"It's a continuing investigation at this point," Kehn said.
Kehn said any possible arrests or citations "depend on the totality of the circumstances."
"We approach things based on the totality of what we see and how the overall investigation goes," he said. "We'll use the information gathered from the agents in the field, the Highway Patrol people, as well as the Industry Operations Investigators."
As of press time, Kehn said investigators were still at the site gathering evidence.
Staff Writer Jared Allen can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 15 or by e-mail at email@example.com.