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2013 Top Story: The fall of Explo Systems Inc.

A look at what happened to Explo in 2013.

Lawmakers, the Louisiana National Guard, and the Louisiana State Police spent most of 2013 asking Explo Systems Inc. to take responsibility for the 10 million pounds of improperly stored M-6 propellant found at Camp Minden. The explosive powder is linked to a bunker explosion on Oct. 15, 2012.   

 

It took six months for state police to move the propellant to storage containers.  Afterwards, they took the keys to Explo’s  97 storage bunkers.

 

In June, six Explo employees were arrested.  David P. Fincher, 65, president, and David A. Smith, 57, secretary/treasurer, were the highest ranking EXPLO executives to be arrested. Also taken into custody were Michael Kile, 43, safety/quality assurance manager, and managers Todd Dietrich, 50,  Lionel Koons, 54, and William "Terry" Wright, 59.

 

Michael Kile , Todd Dietrich, and Lionel Koon have since pled guilty to lesser charges in exchange for testifying against the company's top three officials.

 

The company was forced to file for bankruptcy in September after the Louisiana State Guard filed a lawsuit, threatening to evict Explo from Camp Minden, and asking for more than a $1,000,000 in unpaid rent and damages.  

 

After filing for bankruptcy, all of Explo's property including the explosive powder is no longer under the company's ownership. The property was auctioned off in December.

 

Now the question remains: how will lawmakers dispose of the 17 million pounds of explosive powder, and who is going to foot the bill?


 St. Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City) hopes the Army will foot the bill to dispose of the powder, since it's contracted with Explo. It’s estimated to cost up to $30 million to dispose of the leftover explosive powder. The powder will either be burned or transported to the proper landfill by 18-wheelers. It’s expected to take a year to clean up.  

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