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The Des Moines Register June 12, 2006

Two injured, two presumed dead in Iowa munitions plant explosion

By Abby Simons

Two people were injured and two are presumed dead in a morning explosion at a southeast Iowa munitions plant.

The blast occurred at 10:25 a.m. on Line 1 at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, plant administrators said in a press release Monday.

Two employees of American Ordnance, a company with locations based in nearby Rock Island, Ill., which owns and operates IAAC, are missing and presumed dead following the blast. Two others received minor injuries.

American Ordnance spokesman Jon Phillips said the extent of the damage is being evaluated and the cause of the incident remains under investigation.

He would not elaborate on how large an area the blast affected. Names of all four employees will be released at the same time, he said.

Phillips would not comment further on the blast.

"I've made all my comments that I can make," he said.

The IAAP is a Group Technology Center for missle warheads, tank ammunition, artillery rounds and demolition charges.

According to globalsecurity.org, the plant is "a one-of-a-kind national resource that provides 'total munitions solutions' for the Defense industrial base, which includes research, development, production, inspection, testing, assembly, packing and demilitarization."

The Iowa AAP's 1,500 building facility is built on 19,300 acres in southeast Iowa.


Copyright 2006, The Des Moines Register