Army identifies worker killed in Independence plant explosion - KCTV5

Army identifies worker killed in Independence plant explosion

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The U.S. Army says Lawrence Bass died Tuesday after the blast at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence. The Army did not say how long Bass worked there or what job he did. (Submitted) The U.S. Army says Lawrence Bass died Tuesday after the blast at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence. The Army did not say how long Bass worked there or what job he did. (Submitted)
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV/AP) -

A worker who died during an explosion at an ammunition plant has been identified as a 55-year-old man from Blue Springs.

The U.S. Army says Lawrence Bass died Tuesday after the blast at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence. The Army did not say how long Bass worked there or what job he did.

Four other workers were treated at the scene. The explosion occurred in a building where chemicals are mixed. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is leading the investigation.

Kack Miller was a longtime neighbor and friend. 

"He was just the nicest guy," Miller said. "I called him a gentle giant. He was a big guy but always had a smile on his face. Just a fantastic man and it's a loss." 

The family of Bass issued a statement on Wednesday: 

We are devastated, in disbelief and heartbroken for the loss of a son, brother, 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.

The plant makes and tests small-caliber ammunition for the military. It also operates the NATO test center.

Contractor Orbital ATK operates the plant. Orbital is the biggest maker of small-caliber ammunition for the U.S. Department of Defense.

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