MINDEN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana State Police are investigating an explosion and fire at Camp Minden late Friday morning that rattled nearby residents.
Webster Sheriff Jason Parker says about 15 employees were inside when it happened around 9:45 a.m. at the GOEX black powder facility on the installation. Everyone was got out safely and there were no injuries reported.
Parker said the fire was brought under control by 11:30 a.m., but there will be a 24 to 48-hour waiting period as a safety precaution before investigators will be able to enter the area.
“In past instances, I believe were propellants, black powder propellants, I believe they have manufactured those here,” Lousiana State Police Public Information Officer, Jonathan Odom said.
Residents who live nearby reported seeing and feeling the explosion, but Parker said no evacuations were necessary.
A minden employee who works at an oil and facility center nearby said the loud sound shook his entire workplace.
“We were standing there this morning and when it first happened we all jumped and looked at each other and said that that was a little bit louder than normal,” Preston Wood said.
Wood said he has worked near ‘camp minden’ for the past eight years, and they’ve heard other explosions before but none as loud as this morning.
“Very very loud thunder…it was around 9:30 we all were standing in the shop and about that time the whole building rattled and a loud boom,” Wood said.
According to the company’s website, GOEX manufactures black powder for competitive shooters, recreational shooting, muzzleloading hunters and the U.S. Military.