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Updated at 9:05 p.m., Tuesday, May 3.


Officials at Aberdeen Proving Ground continued to provide few details Tuesday about Saturday’s death of a contractor employee who was working in a lab on the post’s Edgewood Area.

A spokesman did, however, confirm that the dead person worked for Battelle, a defense contractor with a regional office at the HEAT Center in Aberdeen.

The unidentified employee died Saturday afternoon in an explosion and subsequent fire at the laboratory.

APG spokesperson George Mercer said Monday the person was an employee of Battelle, a defense contractor but could not provide additional details of what happened or give the identity of the dead worker.

“The only thing I can say is it’s under investigation,” Mercer said.

Phone calls placed at Battelle’s media relations center were not immediately returned.

The possibility that a radioactive substance was involved in the explosion is also under investigation.

Mercer continued to insist, however, that the accident posed no danger to people working at APG’s Edgewood Area or to the surrounding community.

Contacted Sunday, the manager of Harford County’s Emergency Operations Center, Rick Ayers, said neither he nor the center had been notified of the accident at APG.

At approximately 3 p.m. Saturday, the Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department responded to a fire alarm and subsequent 911 call at the Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense laboratory facility.

The fire was quickly extinguished and the area secured, according to a press release Mercer issued shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday.

Although there were other workers working in the building, the deceased was the only casualty, according to the release.

The release stated the accident was “an isolated incident and there is no threat to the workforce, the rest of the Proving Ground or the surrounding community.”

Saturday’s fatality was the third at Aberdeen Proving Ground in less than two years.

On May 21, 2009, a Russian T-55 tank that was being tested on the Aberdeen Area of the installation exploded and burned.

One civilian working with the tank was pronounced dead at the scene, another died two seeks later and a third was seriously injured.



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