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Explosion, fire at Tennessee plant kills 1, injures 3

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee — A plant explosion and fire killed one person and left three injured Wednesday, emergency authorities said.

The plant is located on a property where several businesses have federal licenses for ammunition and explosives, said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman Michael Knight. Knight said it was unclear which plant was involved, and he said agents were still trying to determine exactly what happened at the site in McEwen, about 55 miles west of Nashville.

"The explosion did considerable damage to the facility," said Odell Poyner, director of the Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency.

PHOTO: This frame grab from video provided by WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn., shows some of the area of an explosion and fire, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at a property where several ammunition and explosives plants are based, in McEwen, Tenn. At least one person has died, and at least three people have been injured. (AP Photo/WSMV-TV)
This frame grab from video provided by WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn., shows some of the area of an explosion and fire, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at a property where several ammunition and explosives plants are based, in McEwen, Tenn. At least one person has died, and at least three people have been injured. (AP Photo/WSMV-TV)

Poyner said authorities received reports that about 20 employees were in the building at the time of the explosion and fire, which he said blew out two walls and a large portion of the roof. He said he didn't know who owned the building but he believed that the property it sits on belongs to Accurate Energetic Systems, a company whose website identifies it as a manufacturer of explosives for the defense and aerospace industries.

A telephone number listed for AES rang busy numerous times and later was picked up by a recording saying the business was closed.

It was not immediately clear which happened first, the explosion or the fire.

Firefighters from both Humphreys and Hickman counties battled the blaze at the plant, located in a rural area right near the line dividing the counties, Poyner said. The fire ignited several brush fires in a nearby forested area. All had been extinguished by Wednesday night, he said.

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Video:
PHOTO: An explosion and fire at a property in Tennessee where several ammunition and explosives plants are based has killed one person and left three injured. (April 17)
An explosion and fire at a property in Tennessee where several ammunition and explosives plants are based has killed one person and left three injured. (April 17)
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