Stored commercial explosives often left unsupervised
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- —Everywhere you look in Kentuckiana, development is flourishing, from commercial and residential to road construction.
Some projects are more explosive than others, in other words, requiring explosives to blast away rock.
Those explosives are stored in federally regulated and heavy-duty containers called “magazines.”
The magazines are required to be constructed a certain way and then placed certain distances away from people and buildings.
“Generally, there’s a box, magazine, that would be in the middle of a field,” Adam Rogers, Industry Operations Director of the ATF Louisville Field Office, said.
However, the iTeam found that when construction crews leave for the day, those magazines and therefore the explosives inside are often left unattended.
“Our regulations do not require for armed guards and barbed wire,” Rogers revealed.
The magazines are also not required to be wired with an alarm or even have video surveillance.
In the past two years in Kentuckiana, explosives have been stolen from area construction sites on two separate occasions.
In April 2015, Andrew Barrie stole nearly 70 sticks of dynamite and almost 300 other explosives.
He admitted that it took two hours to pry open the magazine and that he tried to sell the explosives.
Fortunately, the ATF managed to recover all the explosives at a home in Old Louisville three months later.
The explosives, the feds say, had the potential of blowing up the whole city block.
“You would certainly think that a terrorist might be interested in dynamite,” Congressman John Yarmuth, (D) Kentucky, said.
Yarmuth admits that he is surprised that more isn’t required concerning storage security of commercial explosives.
Yarmuth believes the rules need to be looked at closer.
“I would think Department of Homeland Security and ATF ought to come to Congress and say the laws aren’t adequate, we need to change them.”