COPY-Army unclear of impact of accident at Alabama weapons incinerator

ANNISTON, Ala. The Army says its unclear whether an accident that damaged a furnace at its chemical weapons incinerator will delay destruction of deadly munitions.

Spokesman Mike Abrams said the facility is currently not operating because of scheduled work to prepare for the incineration of V-X nerve gas. He said its not immediately known if the mishap will affect the restart, scheduled for July.Workers were conducting tests on Monday night when bolts suspending a secondary furnace broke, leaving it fractured and hanging above the floor.No chemical agent was inside the plant at the time, and no one was hurt.Site manager Tim Garrett said the Army is looking for a contractor to lift the massive steel furnace back into place. Officials will try to determine why the bolts failed and fix any design flaws and damage.The incinerator is located at the Anniston Army Depot, where chemical weapons dating back to the Cold War have been stored for decades. The depot's cache of sarin gas was destroyed in March.

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