One employee dies, two more in critical condition after explosion at Army depot in Pennsylvania

Letterkenny Army depot houses tactical missiles.

An employee injured during an explosion at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania on Thursday has since died from wounds, according to U.S. Army officials.

The person's identity is being withheld until next of kin are notified.

Four other employees were injured in an explosion that sparked a fire at the army base.

One employee, who was treated for smoke inhalation after the fire, was released the same day. Two other employees remain hospitalized, in critical but stable condition, according to army officials.

“The entire Letterkenny family is mourning this loss,” Col. Stephen Ledbetter, the depot’s commander, said in a statement. “We continue to keep his family in our hearts and prayers.”

According to officials, the explosion occurred in Bldg. 350, in a paint shop. The subsequent fire was contained.

At a news conference on Thursday, Ledbetter said that three of the people injured were flown by helicopter to hospitals in the Baltimore area. The fourth injured employee was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

The Letterkenney Depot falls under the Army's Aviation and Missile Command and is used to maintain, modify and store tactical missiles and other weapons systems.

Spread out over 18,000 acres, the depot employs 3,600 employees, making it the largest employer in Franklin County.

"The safety and well-being of our employees is our top priority," Ledbetter said. "And, the injured employees and their families are in our thoughts and prayers. The Letterkenny Army Depot's Safety specialists are conducting an investigation into the cause of the incident, so we can determine what happened.

Letterkenny’s Safety and Engineering offices, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the depot’s emergency and fire services are investigating the cause of the incident.