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Feds investigating after one person injured in explosion at PSC Metals in Roane County

The ATF is investigating after an explosion occurred at a scrap metal recycling facility in Roane County.

ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. — Federal authorities are investigating after one person was injured in an explosion at a scrap metal recycling yard in Roane County.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office said its explosives unit was called to assist after an explosion was reported at PSC Metals outside Harriman.

KCSO said one person was hurt in the explosion and taken to an area hospital but did not know that person's condition.

A company spokesman for PSC Metals issued the following statement about the accident: "Earlier today,  we had a small explosion at our automated teller machine located at our Harriman, Tennessee facility. The cause of the explosion is unknown. We have temporarily closed the facility while authorities investigate the matter. Our employees, suppliers and customers are our number one priority."  

On Friday, officials said the person who was injured was not an employee at the scrapyard.

According to the Roane County Sheriff's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is leading the investigation into the incident. 

Certified explosives specialists are on the scene working with KCSO and others.

The ATF said personnel will be on the scene for at least the next couple of days to determine what happened, saying they are checking to see if any type of explosive or explosive mixture was used. It is also checking to see if the explosion could have been caused by a device or pyrotechnics, such as fireworks. 

As a routine, the ATF said it will also be checking to see if there have been any similar incidents around the general area and the U.S. out of precaution, looking for any potential relationship to the incident.

Statement from ATF: 

ATF Certified Explosives Specialists are on scene of the incident working with our public safety partners. Specifically, the partners of this joint investigation are in the process of determining the type of, if any, explosives components/mixtures used to cause the respective damage. If anyone has information about this incident or any similar type circumstances, they are encouraged to use the ATF ReportIt app or contact the local law enforcement department.  

“The investigative team has processed the scene and items of interest will be sent to the ATF laboratory for analysis," ATF said on Friday. The analysis will include determination of any explosive mixtures/compounds located on the materials.”

Subject matter experts from the National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR) and the United States Bomb Data Center (USBDC), both located in Huntsville are checking to see if there are any similar incidents across the country as well as providing technical assistance to the on-site personnel regarding the safe mitigation of this incident. 

TBI is also investigating the case.