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The Nation

September 28, 1987

An official said the Army "just got sloppy" under pressure from a congressional mandate to destroy the nation's chemical weapons stockpile, causing some lethal nerve agent to leak from an incinerator. A seven-member Army panel found several problems with the prototype of incinerators designed to dispose of aging chemical weapons at eight sites across the nation by Sept. 30, 1994. The panel's investigation found that the leak of nerve agent last Jan. 28 at the Tooele Army Depot in Utah resulted from the simultaneous failure of the incinerator's piping, ventilation and a charcoal filter system as well as human failure, the Baltimore Sun reported. The failure of the filter system is particularly worrisome because it is the last barrier between the plant and the public, the Sun reported.

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