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Victim killed in Tuesday’s explosion at Lake City ammo plant identified

Family provided photo of Lawrence Bass.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Officials on Wednesday identified the victim killed in an explosion Tuesday afternoon at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.

Lake City representatives said 55-year-old Lawrence Bass, of Blue Springs, Mo., died as a result of injuries sustained in the blast at a primer mixing facility.

His family gave FOX 4 this statement on Wednesday:

“We are devastated, in disbelief and heartbroken for the loss of a son, brother, our father and grandfather. We are thankful for the many prayers and ask for the respect of the media during our time of mourning. Thank you ~Bass Family”

FOX 4’s Dave D’Marko reported Tuesday that the fatal explosion at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant wasn’t the first time someone had been killed mixing primer at the Independence facility.

A spokesperson for the plant said in a statement that an explosion occurred at approximately 1 p.m. on Tuesday in a primer mixing building that resulted in one fatality and four employees being evaluated on scene, who each refused further medical treatment.

“We’re a family here at Lake City and today we lost a family member. Our hearts truly go out to the family,” Jim Nichols, Orbital ATK Small Caliber Systems Vice President Jim Nichols said.

A 1990 OSHA report shows a worker at Lake City was killed when a primer mixture exploded as the employee tried to push it down a bowl with a sponge.

In 2011, the same year six people were injured in an explosion OSHA initially fined ATK $28,000 for four serious violations. The company ultimately paid $5,600. OSHA cited another serious violation in 2008.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has called in chemists and other explosive experts from around the country to try to figure out what went wrong. An ATF bus that will serve as a command post for the investigation arrived shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The investigation is ongoing.

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