ATF’s National Response Team deploys to support Air Liquide explosion investigation

Press release from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

WASHINGTON – ATF’s National Response Team has joined the investigation into the May 4 explosion that injured at least four people at Air Liquide Advanced Materials in High Springs, Florida.

NRT members arrived in Florida Saturday to assist the Florida Bureau of Fire, Arson, and Explosives Investigations and other local and state partners in this ongoing investigation. The NRT consists of Special Agents, Certified Explosives Specialists, Explosive Enforcement Officers, Certified Fire Investigators, Fire Protection Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Forensic Chemists, an Intelligence Research Specialist, a Medic, and an Accelerant Detection Canine with handler.

“ATF is going to help examine the scene, investigate the leads, and follow the facts to how this tragedy may have occurred,” said Special Agent in Charge Kirk Howard. “Extending our unique expertise and capabilities demonstrates the division’s respect for our Central Florida partners and underscores ATF’s commitment to public safety.”

This is the 13th NRT activation this fiscal year and the 904th since the program began in 1978. The NRT provides an immediate and sustained nationwide response capability, typically deploying within 24 hours of notification, with state-of-the-art equipment and highly qualified ATF personnel specializing in fire origin and cause determination.

The team brings definitive expertise and an array of state-of-the-art equipment to the investigation of major fire and explosives incidents. The NRT comprises three regional components, organized geographically to cover the United States, allowing for a rapid response to incidents nationwide.

Past NRT activations include such incidents as the 2020 Nashville “Christmas Day” bombing; more than 200 fire scenes resulting from civil unrest throughout the Midwest in 2020; a series of bombings in Austin, Texas, in 2018; and national-level incidents such as the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon; the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta; the Oklahoma City bombing; and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

  • Do they make hydrogen there? Hydrogen powered cars are better then EVs and could be a needed industry here, later.

    • The only Florida hydrogen plant is being constructed in Okeechobee right now by Florida Power and Light. I think it broke ground in December of 2022

  • I’m still surprised in this day and age, that any and all Chemical/ propane facilities etc aren’t required to have security cameras throughout the facility. Easiest tool in figuring anything out is having a witness/video. JS the cost is minimal these days especially for a business.

  • What happen at this plant was it a criminal act? All the accomplishments and honors describing this ATF response team is for criminal acts such as bombings or terrorist issues. What is going on in High Springs that warrants a federal agency such as ATF to summoned. The federal govt has plenty of civilian Fire investigators. Something doesnt seem right. After all the BS with DOJ and the FBI I just don’t trust what Federal Law Enforcement says they are doing or investigating.

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