Star-Advertiser reporter Gordon Pang got a key bit of information in his story today on the fireworks explosion that killed give workers in Waikele a week ago.
Pang reports that the crew was in the process of dismantling some of the fireworks when the explosion occurs.
Then, citing a fireworks expert:
“The assembly or disassembly or the preparation of explosive materials is strictly prohibited in a magazine,” said Weeth, who is not part of the Waikele investigation. “These are activities that are specifically limited to process buildings or areas, or the field.”
Weeth, who has served on the National Fire Protection Association Technical Committee on Pyrotechnics, which helps develop national fire codes, pointed to regulations on the website of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that specify fireworks are to be stored at least 200 feet away from facilities where they are being processed.
Score two points for Pang.
First, he finds out that the procedure being used by Donaldson Enterprises was apparently a violation of federal regulations. Second, he points to an online source of those regulations (the ATF web site).
Second glance: In light of the comment below concerning drawing a premature conclusion, let’s rephrase that last paragraph.
I give Pang credit for moving the story forward. If the employees of Donaldson Enterprises were in the process of dismantling some of the fireworks to prepare for their destruction, as the lead federal investigator is quoted as saying, it would appear to have violated federal regulations for handling and storage of fireworks. Pang then points to an online source for review of those regulations (the ATF web site).
This is a big advance on the story and deserves credit.