Sheriff: Explosion in Louisiana forest leads to evacuation

AP News
Posted: Apr 12, 2017 11:00 PM

NEW LLANO, La. (AP) — Officials say a small explosion and fire in a forest near a Louisiana Army post led to the evacuation of an apartment complex while they searched the suspect's home for possible dangerous material.

Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft told reporters Wednesday night that Fort Polk officials had contacted his and other law enforcement agencies after a person combined chemicals to create the explosion in the Kisatchie National Forest in central Louisiana.

Craft says officials have determined chlorine was involved but he did not have details.

He says the suspect, an active duty soldier stationed at Fort Polk, was in custody there.

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Craft says a Louisiana State Patrol HAZMAT team searched the suspect's apartment in New Llano, about 8 miles from the base, but found no chemical components.

A base spokesman was not immediately available for comment.