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P.M. BRIEFING : Blast Damages Rocket Fuel Plant

From Times wire services

An explosion caused $15-million damage today to an unmanned, remotely operated building at Hercules Inc.'s Bacchus West facility as propellant for a Delta 2 booster rocket was being mixed, officials said.

A 12:05 a.m. fire and the resulting “over pressure” occurred in a 2-year-old automated and robotized building 15 miles west of Salt Lake City, Hercules spokesman Ted Olsen said.

“There was a full 25,000-pound load of rocket fuel in an 18,000-gallon mix bowl” when the fire started, Olsen said. “We have no idea what caused the incident.”

No injuries were reported.

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