McEwen explosion ruled an accident - WKRN News 2

McEwen explosion ruled an accident

Posted: Updated: Apr 19, 2014 03:03 PM
An explosion at an ammunition plant in Hickman County killed one man and left three injured Wednesday afternoon. An explosion at an ammunition plant in Hickman County killed one man and left three injured Wednesday afternoon.
Rodney Edwards was killed in explosion at Rio Ammunition in McEwen, Tenn. (Courtesy: Edwards' family) Rodney Edwards was killed in explosion at Rio Ammunition in McEwen, Tenn. (Courtesy: Edwards' family)
Joey Clark was critically injured in the explosion at Rio Ammunition. (Courtesy: Facebook) Joey Clark was critically injured in the explosion at Rio Ammunition. (Courtesy: Facebook)
McEWEN, Tenn. - An explosion at an ammunition plant west of Nashville that killed one person and injured three others has been ruled an accident.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made the announcement Saturday afternoon about the Rio Ammunition plant.

In a press release, they stated the explosion occurred in the area of the mezzanine that fed a loading machine.

The ATF arrived at the scene Thursday to make sure the area was structurally safe. 

"We've done quite a few interviews and we have some leads that are going to help us," said Jack Webb, Assistant Special Agent in charge for the ATF's Nashville field office. "I don't think anybody has any indication at this time that there was any type of criminal act." 

 A spokesperson for ATF said their national response team wrapped up their work at the plant Friday evening. They met later that night and again Saturday to discuss their findings.

The facility will be released back to the company Saturday.

The explosion happened at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Rio Ammunition on Highway 230 in McEwen, about 55 miles west of Nashville in Humphreys County.

The blast blew out the back of the building. Brush fires also ignited in the immediate area following the explosion.

SLIDESHOW: McEwen plant explosion

Two LifeFlight helicopters from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center responded to the scene.

Four people were transported to the hospital where one man later died.

The victim has been identified as Rodney Edwards. Loved ones told News 2 Edwards was a caring man who loved his family and his job.

One man, identified as Joey Clark, is in critical but stable condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is the only victim that is still hospitalized.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the injured, their families and those of the deceased during this traumatic event. The community suffered a great loss due to this devastating incident," ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fulton said.

News 2 spoke with TOSHA and the agency did not have any records of previous citations at the ammunition plant for safety concerns.

A similar check of OSHA also did not show citations for safety concerns.
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