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3 airlifted to hospitals after blast at Pennsylvania Army depot

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Posted at 7:03 AM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 09:03:50-04

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

Three people will be airlifted to area hospitals after a small explosion Thursday at Letterkenny Army Depot, according to the Franklin County Office of Emergency Management in Pennsylvania.

Helicopters for the patients are still at the scene, the office said at about 8:30 a.m. ET.

The explosion erupted in a large warehouse, which has been evacuated, emergency officials said.

“There has been an incident at building 350. Employees, please remain at your work area until further notified. If you are outside of the main gate, please do not attempt entrance at this time,” the depot said on Facebook, urging base employees to monitor their phone and email for updates.

In another post, it said, “The incident is contained and will not affect depot operations or workforce safety elsewhere.”

Letterkenny Army Depot is just outside Chambersburg, about 100 miles north of Washington. The 18,000-acre base employs 3,600 civilians, contractors and military personnel.

It was selected in 1941 as an ordnance depot. Today, it provides support for US and allied air and missile defense forces.

“Letterkenny Army Depot develops and delivers materiel readiness for Air Defense forces of the United States and its international partners and builds combat power for combined and joint route clearance operations worldwide,” the depot’s website says, describing its mission.