Authorities Say Explosion At Lubbock Cotton Gin Caused By Makeshift Weapon - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/31/04

Authorities Say Explosion At Lubbock Cotton Gin Caused By Makeshift Weapon

Authorities say an explosion by a makeshift mortar launcher is to blame for injuring two men in Lubbock County Thursday afternoon.

It happened about 5:00 p.m. at a dormant cotton gin on FM 1585 and Frankford. A group of six men were using the mortar launcher to send golf balls into the air. After 2 attempts, the men put a potato into a pipe in hopes of launching the golf balls higher. Pressure caused the pipe to explode and two men were hit with shrapnel.

68 year-old Kenneth Garth Watson suffered severe injuries to his leg. He is in surgical ICU at UMC. Co-owner of the property, 46 year-old Alan McClure was also injured. He has since been treated and released.

Authorities say the makeshift mortar launcher was an illegal device. A U.S. attorney will determine if charges will be brought against those involved.

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