BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — Nearly 100,000 pounds of rocket fuel in an MX missile section burst into flames at a Morton Thiokol Inc. plant Tuesday, killing five workers when fire consumed the building, officials said.
The fire, at the company's Wasatch Operations, 25 miles west of Brigham City, was the firm's fourth major accident in four years, state records indicate. None of the earlier accidents involved fatalities.
The cause of the fire was not determined, but the workers were believed to have been removing a casting from the center of the missile motor's solid fuel when the fire erupted, officials said.
"This is a normal operation for all rocket motors. There was nothing unusual or novel about it," said Phillip R. Dykstra, vice president and general manager for strategic operations at the plant.