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Fireworks plant explosion in Washington state kills one

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[June 19, 2014]  SEATTLE (Reuters) - An explosion at Washington state fireworks plant killed a 74-year-old man and injured two others as workers were loading shells onto a truck headed to a show, a Thurston County dispatcher and local media said.

Fire officials were alerted to the blast, which destroyed a nearly 400-square-foot cloth-walled area and part of a large truck, just before 10 a.m. local time on Wednesday, a Thurston County dispatcher said On Thursday.

Local media named the company as Tenino-based Entertainment Fireworks, which according to its website produces professional fireworks shows and is the largest fireworks company based in Washington State.

The company, located south of Seattle, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The cause of the explosion ahead of the busy Fourth of July holiday marked by nationwide pyrotechnic displays was not immediately known, the dispatcher said.

It was being investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the state Department of Labor and Industries, media reported.

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The injured were transported to area hospitals, the dispatcher said.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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