UPDATE: Man dies after explosion at Kansas fireworks business

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
It happened Tuesday afternoon at Jake

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PITTSBURG, Kan. — One man has died after being injured in an explosion at a fireworks business.

Tuesday afternoon, emergency responders were dispatched to Jake's Fireworks, located at 689 South US 69 Highway in Pittsburg.

The Crawford County Sheriff's Office said that according to statements, two men had been working in and around a storage unit that housed fireworks on the property when the explosion occurred. Both were burned and transported by helicopter to an area hospitals.

A helicopter carrying one of the men had to make an emergency landing at a Joplin hospital when his condition worsened. He was later pronounced dead. He's been identified as 28-year-old Kenny L. Clark of Pittsburg.

The other victim, 42-year-old Howard O. Harper of Pittsburg, was taken to a hospital in Springfield, Missouri for treatment. He remains in critical condition.

The cause of the explosion and fire is being investigated by the Crawford County Sheriff's Office, Pittsburg Police Department, Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office and the ATF.

Previous story:

Authorities in southeast Kansas say two employees of a fireworks manufacturer were severely burned in an explosion outside the company's former headquarters in Pittsburg.

Crawford County Undersheriff Steve Geier says the blast occurred at 2:35 p.m. Tuesday while the employees of Jake's Fireworks were moving materials from a shipping container. The materials were to be transported to the company's new headquarters in a Pittsburg industrial park.

The Morning Sun newspaper reports both workers were flown to hospitals in Missouri. Crews extinguished a fire caused by the explosion but planned to remain at the scene overnight.

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