Explosion leaves four workers severely injured at Letterkenny Army Depot


Four people were injured after an explosion Thursday morning at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Franklin County.

Letterkenny Army Depot is one of many facilities that support the country’s first line of defense.

“What we do here is inherently dangerous. A lot of moving equipment, pieces, parts and we have a very good safety program,” Commander Stephen Ledbetter of the Letterkenny Army Depot said.

On Thursday morning, those at the depot saw how dangerous that line of work can get.

“First, we heard sirens for quite a long time. When the first helicopter medevac came in, helicopter, we decided to drive to the other side of the yard and see what the commotion was,” Shaun Buck, who works at a pipe yard near Letterkenny Army Depot said.

There was a small explosion that led to a small fire in the paint area of building 350.

“We just knew it had to be a big deal. They don’t usually fly a helicopter in there that takes in there now, unless it’s something pretty big,” Buck said.

There are about 3,000 employees at the depot. And about 300 to 400 of them were evacuated from one of those buildings where the explosions occurred.

Four workers were severely injured. Of those four, three were flown out to Baltimore-area hospitals by helicopter. The fourth person was transported on ground.

“We are a tight-knit community. I think our workforce is tightly knit. They are very, very proud of the 76 years of history that the depot has supported the department of defense, and certainly, they are concerned about their teammates,” Commander Ledbetter said.

The commander said it was not a terroristic threat but an industrial accident they are investigating.

“We have our battle drills if you will, where we have been trained to react if something bad happens. And today, I could not be prouder of our workforce,” Commander Ledbetter said.

The rest of the depot will continue to operate as normal.

The commander says they are looking into whether or not there are any environmental threats from the incident. The conditions of the patients are unknown at this time.

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