Investigation continues into deadly McEwen explosion - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Investigation continues into deadly McEwen explosion

(Photo provided by ATF Nashville Field Division) (Photo provided by ATF Nashville Field Division)
McEWEN, TN (WSMV) -

Investigators may know by Saturday what caused the explosion in Humphreys County that killed a man and injured three other people this week at an ammunition plant.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Friday that some sort of smokeless powder played a significant role in the blast, and there's no evidence of foul play.

"I don't think anybody has any indication at this time that there was any type of criminal act out here. It looks like it was something that happened as part of what we're trying to find out, like an accident. We don't think that there was any intentional criminal act in any way," said Jack Webb, assistant special agent with ATF.

The Rio Ammunition facility was determined safe to enter Friday, and crews began clearing debris, as the company is expected to regain control of the building Saturday.

Rodney Edwards, a maintenance worker, died in the explosion. His wife said just before he left for work Wednesday morning, he kissed her goodbye.

"He always kissed me goodbye," Kathryn Edwards said.

Neither of them would know that kiss would be their last.

"He kissed me goodbye like he kisses me goodbye every morning, told me he loved me. I said, 'I love you, too, goodbye. Have a good day,'" Kathryn Edwards said.

She says her husband was a hard worker who loved his job. He rarely missed a day of work at Rio Ammunition.

"He was there when no one else was. We went up there on weekends to paint decks. He would go in seven days a week - morning, noon and night," Kathryn Edwards said.

Just an hour before his shift was about to end Wednesday, he was caught in the explosion that claimed his life.

"He didn't deserve it. It's just not fair," said his cousin Chelsea Simons.

Three others were hurt in the blast. Joey Clark is recovering from surgery Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

"He's still alive, and we realize someone was killed and we're so lucky. Joey knew him and was right in the same vicinity," said brother Tony Clark.

Shirley Edwards and another man have been released from the hospital to continue recovering at home.

And as the family of Rodney Edwards prepares to say goodbye, they ask for prayer above all else.

"He was a big part of our lives. Now there is going to be a part missing," Simons said.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • Holly Springs man gunned down 1 week before wedding

    Holly Springs man gunned down 1 week before wedding

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:47 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:47:19 GMT
    Terry Halloway (Source: submission)Terry Halloway (Source: submission)

    Police in Holly Springs are investigating after a man was shot and killed early Saturday morning in the area of West College Avenue near McKinney Street.

    More >>

    Police in Holly Springs are investigating after a man was shot and killed early Saturday morning in the area of West College Avenue near McKinney Street.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT: Timing for weekend rain and storms

    FIRST ALERT: Timing for weekend rain and storms

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:43 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:43:14 GMT
    There will be a couple of rounds of showers and storms this weekend.  * Storms continue overnight * Windy & mild * Flash flooding possible A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect Sunday 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. Watch out for flash flooding, as 1-3 inches and locally higher amounts may be seen throughout the day Sunday, mainly from Memphis west into AR. TONIGHT: Scattered showers and overnight storms. Windy and warm. Winds: S 15-25 mph. Low: 71. THIS WEEKEND:&...More >>
    There will be a couple of rounds of showers and storms this weekend.  * Storms continue overnight * Windy & mild * Flash flooding possible A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect Sunday 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. Watch out for flash flooding, as 1-3 inches and locally higher amounts may be seen throughout the day Sunday, mainly from Memphis west into AR. TONIGHT: Scattered showers and overnight storms. Windy and warm. Winds: S 15-25 mph. Low: 71. THIS WEEKEND:&...More >>
  • Mr. Belding meets fans at Redbirds game

    Mr. Belding meets fans at Redbirds game

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:39 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:39:58 GMT

    Dennis Haskins, who played the principal America fell in love with on "Saved By The Bell," was at the Memphis Redbirds game greeting fans as part of a 90s night promotion. 

    More >>

    Dennis Haskins, who played the principal America fell in love with on "Saved By The Bell," was at the Memphis Redbirds game greeting fans as part of a 90s night promotion. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Sunday, April 30 2017 12:31 AM EDT2017-04-30 04:31:34 GMT

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly