NEWTOWN, Ohio -- A small explosion at a Newtown ammunition plant was was a "freak accident," authorities confirmed Thursday afternoon.
Three people suffered non-life threatening injuries after a cardboard container storing recycled single-shot shotgun casings exploded at approximately 8:12 a.m., said Brian Hoyt, spokesperson for the Ohio State Fire Marshal's office. Authorities believe the explosion, which occurred at One Shot, Inc., in the 3700 block of Round Bottom Road, started after gun power residue caught fire. Criminal activity is not suspected.
Firefighters said the building was already evacuated when they arrived. The victims are company employees, said Little Miami Fire-Rescue Lt. Tim Allen.
Two men were taken to Anderson Mercy Hospital and one woman was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. All three were treated for minor injuries.
According to the company, the facility on Round Bottom Road is under construction, including a gun range, and will be called Liberty Station’s Ready Line. Construction is tentatively scheduled to be completed by mid-November, a store supervisor told WCPO.
Synan said the container exploded underneath a table. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the state fire marshal ruled the explosion a "freak accident," Synan said.
He confirmed representatives from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration have been called to investigate, but he was unaware if the agency had responded. OHSA representatives were unreachable for comment due to the partial federal government shutdown, according to a recorded voice message and its website.
Officials said there are no signs of widespread damage to the building.
Synan said there was no fire as a result of the explosion.
Fire crews from the Little Miami Fire District, Union Township, Mariemont and Anderson Township were called to the scene.
The company’s current store is still open at 6871 Main St. in Newtown.
Officials said the ammunition the company makes is currently marketed under the One Shot brand and will renamed Ready Line ammunition once construction is complete. One Shot, Inc., CEO Christopher Roma was not immediately available for comment.
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