Things that Go Boom in the NIght
Update! Meteor impacts Louisiana, explosion causes damage to nearby buildings, Cover-up swings into operation
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 08:33 CDT
© Kristi Johnston/The Times
Webster Parish sheriff's deputies set up on scene on Elmo Burton Loop this morning in search of what caused the ground to shake across northwest Louisiana late Monday night.
Northwest Louisiana authorities are investigating the source of whatever shook people's residences and businesses about 11:40 p.m. Monday. The Webster sheriff's office now is entertaining the possibility that it may have been a meteorite, possibly in the Dixie Inn area. There have been a large number of reports stating that they saw something come down instead of something blow up, a spokesman said.
And a woman reported hearing what sounded like debris hit a shop on Bellevue Road in the Dixie Inn area. If it was a meteorite, that would fall to NASA and the Air Force to investigate. A spokeswoman for Barksdale Air Force Base public affairs said that the installation is investigating and that whatever the source, it didn't originate at the base.
Webster authorities still don't know what it was or where it hit, Sheriff Gary Sexton just said. Thermal-imaging cameras showed nothing off Elmo Burton Loop near Dixie Inn, but helicopters are expected to be in the air this morning to survey the area along U.S. 80 and Interstate 20 for the cause of what caused the ground to shake.
Reports of the shaking came in from Lake Bistineau, Springhill, Sibley and Barksdale Air Force Base.
Sexton earlier said he was driving in the Springhill-Cullen area when he saw two flashes from the south. One report says it shook the Webster Courthouse in Minden.
A resident of the Lake Bistineau area reports that it almost shook their house off its foundation.
A number of reports of a loud boom, shaking, rattling and possible damage -- including broken windows -- in the area west and northwest of Minden have been coming into the National Weather Service office in Shreveport. "I don't have any idea what it was," Mark Murphy said. "A lot of calls have mentioned all kinds of scenarios, but I don't know for sure anything."
No earthquake is being reported in this area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's real-time earthquake map.
And a Calumet spokesman says windows shook in the Cypress Lake area, north Bossier Parish and western Webster Parish and that the source is not the company's facility in Cotton Valley nor is it the Princeton location.
Turned out to be a 1950's era partially underground bunker containing 128,000 lbs. of smokeless powder in a remote area of Camp Minden, which is covered by my combo department.
MP's searched the base last night but did not have access to this area. Company employees found a small brush fire and the bunker destroyed this morning when they went to get product for production.
Thwere was very little after fire with the exception of a very limited brush. The storage bunkers is in a very remote area of the facility in a thick pine forest just for this reason.
We have gotten very used to this type of incident as we average one catastrophic explosion a year either in production or storage.
Camp Minden is a WWII era ammo production facility which currently has 5 tenants involved in the production of explosives as well as housing a large National Guard training, maintainence and administrative component.