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State fines scrap plant for ammo explosion

Posted June 2, 2008

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— A scrap-metals plant has agreed to pay a $3,580 fine for workplace-safety violations that led to military ordnance exploding at the plant four months ago.

Two workers were injured Feb. 12 when military munitions in a load of scrap metal exploded at at Raleigh Metals Recycling, a scrap processing plant on Garner Road.

A team of munitions experts from Fort Bragg spent four days locating and detonating more than 30 explosive devices at the scrap plant. Garner Road had to be shut down, and nearby residents were forced from their homes during the operation.

Four men have been detained in the case, and authorities located other munitions at a mobile home park in Sanford.

During three inspections after the incident, the state Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) found 14 safety violations at the plant.

The most serious was a violation of the "general duty clause," which says employers must furnish workers with a hazard-free workplace. Five serious and three other violations were found in a safety inspection, and two serious and three other violations were found in a health inspection.

OSH assessed $4,950 in fines against Raleigh Metals Recycling in April, but company officials asked for an informal meeting with regulators to discuss the case. The officials agreed not to contest the findings of the inspections and to correct the violations in exchange for a reduced fine.

City officials are awaiting a report from the Army and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine where the munitions came from and how they ended up at the plant.

The City Council is considering tightening local ordinances governing recycling plants to prevent similar problems.

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  • Travised Jun 2, 2008

    This article, the root of it (ammo explosion) needs to go back to Bragg for the origination of the problem to point the finger at. Find out WHY live ammo went to recycling. They recycle what they are handed. They don't expect to have rounds or explosives when it meets the compactor or smelter.

    I did misc recycling for years. From brass, to copper, to steel, to whatever we had when we were clearing out a site. I'd haul it up to the local yard and get what they were paying at the time. Show your license, you drive in the yard they write down your plates going over the scales.

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Jun 2, 2008

    Why is it that everytime something happens, the democratic government in Raleigh wants to make a new law about it. (like the garbage disposal thing) Some guy by the name of Bevis blew up some old 'military" shells at a junk yard and Cooter "the crane operator called the police....Then the governor's limo shows up and then what....

  • GetRight Jun 2, 2008

    "Why is it that every time something happens, the government want to make a new law". - BUILDER

    "Hey builder: enforcement of current laws and term limits. Then legislators can say what is needed and not just politically correct." - OLD PIRATE 2

    Sorry for the ditto but that's just EXACTLY what I was think the instant I read it.

    I have "recycled" old copper wire from job sites where I installed telephone & computer network cabling. You show your license, they record it and you're off. TT&E metals in Garner pays green cash.

    A "license" in not in order but perhaps a digital photo with you and your booty linked to the invoice might deter theft a little but more laws??? Gimme a political break!

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jun 2, 2008

    Hey builder: enforcement of current laws and term limits. Then legislators can say what is needed and not just politically correct.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jun 2, 2008

    So If I read this correctly, every time there is an accident, its a violation of the General Duty Clause. Simply wrong!

  • mac240 Jun 2, 2008

    "Why is it that every time something happens, the government want to make a new law".

    You have specific laws to cover certain criminal actions; if a criminal action doesn’t fall under a specific law then some lawyer will have the case thrown out. By creating more laws we are getting rid of loopholes and justifying longer sentences.

  • Builder Jun 2, 2008

    Why is it that every time something happens, the government want to make a new law. We have gangs, lets make a new law, we have a drought, lets make a new law, we have illegal immigrants, lets make the "Real ID" act, we have shootings, lets have gun control laws. First of all the only things these laws do is make it hard on those of us who do follow the law. For example all the new stuff DMV requires to get a drivers license. The anti gang laws are going to run gangs out of the state, they obviously don't care about laws, banning handguns is only going to leave law abiding citizens defensless. Someone who is going to shoot someone obviously isn't going worry about that law, when they are intent on breaking another law. Our elected officials need to quit thinking that a law will solve the problem. Looks good at election time, what we really need is then enforcement of currently laws.

  • mac240 Jun 2, 2008

    With the wave of copper, and storm drains thefts the state should require some type of license in order to sell material to scrap yards, and payment to t he sellers should be in the form of a check after a one week grace period. With these guidelines in place I bet a lot of this illegal activity would cease.

  • nauticagirl501 Jun 2, 2008

    AMEN SUNKIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AND THE COPPER STOLEN FROM PROGRESS ENERGY TOO!!!!!!! NEED TO STOP ALLOWING THIS MESS AT THESE METAL PLANTS AND THINGS WOULDNT GET STOLEN FROM COMPANIES!!!!!!!!!