AP: Bid Discrepancies Preceded La. Town Evacuation
Abney said it "was the understanding of the Army representatives" that Explo was going to sell M6 to Kentucky Powder and Kentucky Powder would use it to make blasting slurry for mining. But there was no operational slurry facility there at the time.
"The Army representatives were shown the blueprints and the footings for the slurry plan operations during the Army site visit," said Abney, who doesn't know if the facility is operational now.
Kentucky Powder "did not provide consumption rates" and the company did not tell the Army that it would store the product for Explo, Abney said. The Army's contract is not with Kentucky Powder.
R. Edward McGhee is president of Kentucky Powder Company, according to filings with the Kentucky Secretary of State's office. Business filings in Louisiana list him as a director of Explo Systems. The Louisiana documents list David Fincher of Burns, Tenn., as president of Explo Systems and David Alan Smith of Winchester, Ky., as secretary and treasurer.McGhee said in a telephone interview that Kentucky Powder only buys explosives that it can resell and hasn't bought M6 from Explo in more than a year because demand is down. He said the company doesn't store explosives for other companies. After being contacted by the AP, McGhee said he spoke to Explo officials who told him the plan mistakenly said the company had 70 million pounds of storage and should have said 7 million. McGhee did not mention being listed as a director of Explo Systems and hasn't responded to subsequent messages. The plan says 70 million pounds at least three times. Asked if Explo Systems misled the Army and could face charges, Abney, the Army spokesman, would say only that investigations are ongoing. But he reiterated the plan was for Explo to sell the material. "I don't think anybody dreamed of them storing that much," Abney said.
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