The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

December 7, 2012

Job-site blast causes damage in Joplin neighborhood

JOPLIN, Mo. — Bernice Hall was focused on her knitting Thursday afternoon at her home in the 2000 block of South Grand Avenue when she heard the blast.

“I kind of jumped,’’ she said. “I told my grandson: ‘It’s not storming, but something just blew up.’ It sure scared the hell out of me.’’

A contractor with the school district’s reconstruction projects said the explosion about 5 p.m. Thursday near the site of the new Joplin High School was a blast for a storm-drain project. He attributed property damage caused by the blast to some sort of malfunction. The Joplin fire chief said the explosives company is not required to give notice of the blasts. He said the fire department will monitor the next blast, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Hall said she walked out the front door of her home to see a cloud of white smoke come from the construction site for the new high school where explosives had been used to blast away some rock.

“The white smoke came from down that way,” she said in reference to the work site. “I saw neighbors walking down there to see what had happened.’’

Flying rock from the blast caused what was described as minor damage to the vinyl siding of two houses, one on South Kentucky Avenue and the other on South Grand. The back passenger window in a vehicle driven by Mary Myers, of Joplin, was blown out while she was traveling east on 20th Street at Kentucky Avenue. No injuries were reported.

Hall had no damage to her home, but she was surprised that no one had warned property owners along Grand Avenue that a blast was imminent.

“They should have warned us,’’ she said.

Daniel Todd, who lives in the 2000 block of South Kentucky, was at home when the blast occurred.

“It sounded like a real big thunderclap,’’ he said. “I went outside on the porch and looked around. There was a big old smoke cloud that came rolling in from over in that area (the high school).

“There wasn’t any notice they were going to be blowing anything up that we received,’’ he said. “I would think even if legally you don’t have to (provide notice), it’s something you should do.’’

His wife, Mackenzie, asked, “What if my kids were playing outside?’’

A Joplin police officer came by the Todds’ home on Friday morning. After they walked around their home with the officer, they found a place where their siding had been damaged by flying debris.

“There is a crack in the siding — on our brand new siding,’’ she said, noting that they plan to meet with a contractor and their insurance agent to assess the damage.

Because debris escaped from the site, a second planned blast has been delayed so that the contractor, Explosive Contractors Inc., of Hollister, can determine why the initial blast apparently went awry.

Efforts to reach a spokesman with Explosive Contractors for comment were unsuccessful on Friday.

“There was a malfunction of some sort,’’ said Mike Johnson, who is overseeing the school district’s building effort. “It blew out to the north.’’

Johnson said the excavating contractor ran into rock at the construction site that was damaging equipment.

“A blasting contractor was called in who does nothing but blasting,’’ he said. “It’s all they do.’’

The explosives were detonated about 100 feet east of 22nd Street and Grand Avenue, where work is proceeding on a stormwater drainage system for the site.

Johnson said the contractor is licensed and has insurance to cover such losses. Those with possible damage may call Eritt Howard, a company representative, at 417-294-2252, he said.

Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles said the company received a permit from the department and from the state Division of Fire Safety. The permits did not spell out a specific time and date for the blast that took place Thursday.

“We were given a date range from yesterday through Dec. 31,’’ he said. “They will blast two times, maybe three at tops.’’

The department is involved to make sure the company that was issued the permit has a safe blast plan and taken the necessary precautions to protect the public. A key issue is whether explosives are stored and transported in a safe manner, Randles said.

The company, he said, has done blasting in the city in the past without incident.

“They are planning to modify the way they are blasting,” Randles said. “They will shut down until early next week. We will monitor the next blast, which is planned for Tuesday.

“With a ground blast like this, there is no requirement to notify the neighborhood,’’ he said. “Under normal circumstances, most people out there would have heard a small rumble. People a few blocks away would not have noticed it at all.’’

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014