Radford Army Ammunition Plant officials are still trying to determine what caused a fire in one if its production buildings last month.
Officials took time to address the incident during Wednesday night’s quarterly arsenal meeting at the Christiansburg Public Library, a first for new Lt. Col. Anthony Kazor.
The June 6 fire broke out less than an hour after Kazor had been sworn in as the new head of the munitions plant.
Cara Bandera, the safety, health and environment manager for BAE, started the meeting with an update on the investigation. She said that the cause of the fire is still unknown and that mixing operations remain down until corrective actions can be taken.
“This was an unfortunate event, “ she said. “BAE Systems, our goal, is that every employee goes home exactly how they showed up that day and so we do take this very seriously and that is why we have not restarted.”
Bandera went on to say that the one BAE employee who sustained minor injuries was released from the hospital the same day as the accident and has since returned to work. Three firefighters were also treated for minor injuries including smoke inhalation.
The latest incident came almost a year to the date of an explosion at the arsenal that killed one worker, Andrew Goad, and seriously injured two others.
The 2018 incident occurred after nitrocellulose material in the drying process combusted and caused a flash fire. The three injured employees — Goad, Travis Mitchell and Dakota Grimmett — were taken from a New River Valley hospital to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina.
Goad died from his injuries on June 16. Mitchell and Grimmett were released from the hospital at a later date.
The Roanoke Times reported that Goad was the first person to suffer a workplace-related death at the arsenal since 1991 and only the second salaried supervisor to die as a result of an incident at the plant, according to author and plant historian Dennis Kitts.
Goad was the 40th worker at the plant to die in its history, which goes back to the early 1940s.
Army officials previously stated that the most recent fire was not the result of an explosion.
No official timeline was given for when the most recent investigation might be completed.