GRANITE CITY, IL (KTVI) - Two people were killed and a third was injured in a Granite City explosion at a recycling business. Officials say a mortar blew up outside of a building at Totall Metal Recycling. Granite City Police Major Jeff Connor said, "The scene evaluation determined some type of mortar round appeared to be a cause of the explosion with this information it was determined the area was unsafe."
Explosive experts from Scott Air Force Base, the State of Illinois, St. Louis City and County, A.T.F. and other agencies swarmed the company and made the area safe before the bodies could be removed.
The company recycles all sorts of stuff including ammunition and military devices however a company spokeswoman says those items are expected to arrive inert, or safe. Police said this is not a criminal investigation. Police Chief Rich Hill said, "The incident occurred like any other industrial accident."
Family members of Tyler Muenster arrived. They feared Tyler was one of those killed. His red car was still parked in the company lot after all the other employees were sent home. Mike Cerentano, a half-brother, said Tyler was one of six sons, "Great kid, just made the semi-pro football team in Belleville, the Illinois Justice, made the semi-pro team there. Went to college played for McKendree (university) for 4 years, like I said he was the best one out of all of us."
Another brother who had worked at the company criticized the way it operated. Ryan Cerentano said, "There's a lot of unsafe there." OSHA SAID in 2011 and 20 12 the agency cited the company for lead exposure and respiratory problems. The feds say the company fixed the problems. The coroner has not released the names of the victims. The company released a statement calling the two dead people colleagues and friends. The statement said they are praying for their families, and will provide counseling for employees and cooperate with investigators.