Redstone Arsenal contract employee injured in explosion - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Redstone Arsenal contract employee injured in explosion

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AMRDEC headquarters AMRDEC headquarters
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A contract employee was injured in an explosion on Redstone Arsenal Tuesday morning.

The explosion happened just before 8 a.m. in building 5400, the Aviation and Missile Research and Development Center.

Arsenal officials said Dynetics employee, Bill Barber, was handling a small explosive device when it went off. The area was evacuated and only the employee handling the device was injured.

HEMSI transferred Barber to Huntsville Hospital with non life threatening injuries. He had hand surgery on Tuesday, and is expected to make a full recovery.

A thorough investigation will be conducted to determine the cause, and to prevent future incidents of this nature.  The investigation is being conducted by the Redstone Arsenal's Military Police investigative agencies and safety professionals from AMRDEC and Garrison Safety Offices.  Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, have also arrived to assist in the investigation.

An inspector from the Birmingham Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also conducting an investigation.

This is the first injury from an explosion reported on the arsenal since two men were killed in an explosion in May, 2010.

Jerry A. Grimes, 58, of Hartselle and James R. Hawke, 53, of Hazel Green both died after an explosion at Aviation Missile Research Development and Engineering Center test area 10 at building 7352 on Flicker Road, near Gate 3. They worked for AMTEC Corporation, a Redstone contract partner that provides technical support to the U.S. Army elements.

They had been testing at the heavy demolition site for days before the incident.

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