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NEW ORLEANS (AP) ? A town in northwest Louisiana was being evacuated and state police were starting a criminal investigation of a company after finding about 6 million pounds of explosive material used in howitzers they say was stored illegally.

Boxes and small barrels of the M6 artillery propellant were found both outdoors and crammed into unauthorized buildings leased by Explo Systems Inc. at Camp Minden, the former Louisiana Army Ammunitions Plant, state police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said Sunday.

Police were evacuating the town of Doyline, about 270 miles northwest of New Orleans. About half the town's 800 residents left Friday.

The company's "careless and reckless disregard made it unsafe for their own employees, for schoolchildren in Doyline, for the town of Doyline," Edmonson said.

The company is located on a portion of the former ammunition plant's 15,000 acres that is leased for commercial use. Other sections are used for National Guard training.

Capt. Doug Cain, a state police spokesman, identified the product as M6 propellant, used in howitzers and other artillery. The pellets are largely compressed nitrocellulose, also known as guncotton.

Authorities had initially estimated the total at 1 million pounds after an investigator looking into an Oct. 15 explosion at Explo Systems saw cardboard boxes on long rows of pallets behind a building. They found more stacked in sheds and warehouses when crews returned Saturday to begin moving the boxes into bunkers about two miles away on the former munitions site, which covers nearly 23.5 square miles just north of Doyline.

"It wasn't in their storage magazines. They had it hidden on the property, away from the storage magazines where we would expect to find it," Cain said.

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6 million pounds of explosive material

That is crazy. You could have blown up half the state with that much explosive material in one place.

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^ Great fireworks show

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Yeah, viewed from another state. :D

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kinda reminds me of the EQ disaster that hit in Apex,NC, about 7 minutes away from where I lived in Cary,NC. They evacuated Apex and some of Cary. I had to tape up my windows and seal up vents and stuff in my apartment.... it was all over the media about this... I was woken up by my mom calling me and saying that she saw it on the news and told me to seal up my place.... glad I did....

My hubby came home from work early to be with me and we were gonna leave , but they gave the clear for my area.... sucks he lost his damn job over that when it was a freakin nationally covered disaster for cryin out loud! grrrr!!!

seriously... these companies need to stop this crap.

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Sorry for your trouble there cat. I can't say I've ever had such an experience.

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Yeah it was pretty bad.... I was very stressed about it and nervous about evacuating and stuff....

I've been thru like, 4 pretty big disasters...

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.I've been thru like, 4 pretty big disasters...

They seem to sort of follow you around.

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They seem to sort of follow you around.

:(

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^ It could be worse. My life is one disaster after another. I wouldn't know any other way.

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what kinda disasters???

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Later the next day...

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