Explosives used in seismic exploration missing

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10/11/2001 - Updated 05:44 PM ET Explosives used in seismic exploration missing

HOUSTON (AP) Seven hundred pounds of explosives used in seismic exploration for drilling are reported missing from a company in Harris County and federal law officers are investigating the apparent thefts.

Officials of AirJac Drilling Inc. says the explosives were taken between Saturday and Tuesday. It's too early to know if the apparent theft is terrorist-related, officials say.

The shaped charges, which come in different shapes and weights, have a nonexplosive outer covering and explosive material inside. They were being kept in a rural area in Harris County.

"With everything going on now and with the heightened alert, we will be paying special attention to this," Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spokeswoman Franceska Perot told the Houston Chronicle for Thursday's editions.

Officials of AirJac in New Iberia, La., said the matter was under investigation and declined further comment.

Perot said it was the area's largest such amount of missing explosives in memory.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 12, 2001


Oct. 12, 2001, 1:06PM

Explosives stolen in Harris County are recovered Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle

All the explosives stolen from a portable bunker in east Harris County earlier this week have been recovered, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms just announced today.

ATF spokeswoman Franceska Perot said the 700 pounds of shaped charges were found buried in a rural location today.

The explosives, discovered missing late Tuesday afternoon, were kept in a rural area near North Beltway 8 and Lockwood.

The materials belonged to AirJac Drilling, which also does business under the name Veritas DGC Land Inc. AirJac has a Harris County office, but does most of its business from New Iberia, La.

Suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the theft of the explosives. Perot could not yet comment on their motives, but said ATF plans a press conference later today.

-- Joe (CactusJoe001@AOL.com), October 12, 2001.

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