Newspaper Report Questions Kilgore Explosion Investigation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

09/05/03 - Longview

Newspaper Report Questions Kilgore Explosion Investigation

       Its been two months since the explosion at the Lamb Entertainment Complex in Kilgore. The massive explosion killed three people. Today authorities found themselves defending their investigation into what happened after a published reported questioned how that investigation was handled.

     The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports sources as saying federal and local authorities improperly handled the Lamb fireworks explosion scene. And investigators are saying its false information. The article quotes "unidentified sources" as saying the site was left unmanned and unsecured so that anyone could unsafely enter the area.

     "I really feel like the report about the scene being left open is not accurate" said Ronny Moore, Kilgore's Police Chief.

     "I was surprised at how inaccurate the article was .. It was manned 24 hours a day with armed guards for that 2 week period" said Dean Rivard of "Protect Security". The local security force claims it's impossible.... saying guards were on duty 24 hours a day for 2 weeks and saw no one.

    The paper quotes sources saying the ATF left the scene to local authorities 24 hours after the blast, which the ATF says isn't true; and that agents mishandled the investigation; which they say is absolutely not true. ATF agent Tom Crowley told us today "we are very pleased with the way the investigation went... It was by the book, we were there for several days and once we determined it was an accident we turned the scene over to the property owners... We did what we were supposed to do."

  According to the published report, 50 church volunteers came walking into the site, and found explosives and even body parts.  But Moore says only one report of remains has been brought to his attention. Tyler Morning Telegraph Executive Editor Jim Giametta says the paper stands by their story.

     Giametta says none of the officials quoted in their story have called to complain, or question the stories accuracy. Kilgore Police Chief Ronny Moore is still asking that anyone who finds anything that even looks like an explosive device in the area of the Lamb site... Call Kilgore police.

  Bob Hallmark, reporting. 

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