Leaking mustard gas weapons contained, removed

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – The military chemical weapons storage facility in Richmond has identified two canisters that were leaking gas and contained and removed them, the management company said.

In a release, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant operators identified, isolated and placed into overpacked containers two 155mm projectiles containing mustard agent June 19.

The munitions had been emitting agent vapor within a storage structure.

An air monitoring system originally detected the vapor emissions during routine analysis of the atmosphere within the storage structure, known as a service magazine, June 9.

The service magazine included a carbon filtration system, so the vapor emissions remained under engineering controls and did not enter the outside atmosphere at any time.

Additionally, no workers were exposed to chemical agent, the release said.

Detecting, isolating and placing chemical munitions emitting vapor into sealed containers is something for which crews have planned and practiced. The overpacked munitions will eventually be destroyed in the Static Detonation Chamber at the plant, according to the release.

The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is safely destroying the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot. The stockpile was originally comprised of more than 500 tons of nerve and mustard agent in rockets and projectiles.

Operations to destroy the weapons began in June 2019.

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