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Evacuation advisory lifted near explosives site

Courtesy: AP/Louisiana State Police Courtesy: AP/Louisiana State Police

DOYLINE, La. (AP) - State police say the evacuation advisory around an explosives plant in north Louisiana has been lifted.

The evacuation was called off at noon Friday. It was put in place last weekend as work began to move and safely store an estimated 6 million pounds of explosive propellant at Explo Systems Inc., on the state's Camp Minden industrial site.

State police say about 2.2 million pounds has been removed and stored in safe areas at the site. Work was suspended for the weekend Friday and will resume Monday.

Sgt. James Anderson said the work that took place Friday morning was focused on "segregating" the explosive material - that is separating quantities of the explosive material from each other so that an accidental ignition of one area would not result in a massive fire or explosion.

"The segregation is accomplished through a combination of moving the material and the use of physical barriers," he said in response to an email query.

Explo Systems recycles military munitions at the site in Webster Parish, a former military base that's now mostly an industrial park. An explosion at the site in October led to a state police inspection, during which mass quantities of the explosive propellant were found stored indoors and outdoors, some in containers that had spilled open, according to state police.

The evacuation covered the nearby town of Doyline, with a population of about 800. Authorities estimated that about half of the people may have left but by late in the week many of those had returned.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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