By Janet McConnaughey
NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana state police are launching a criminal investigation of a company after finding about 6 million pounds of explosive material that they say was stored illegally.
State police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said Sunday that boxes and small barrels of the M6 artillery propellant were found both outdoors and crammed into unauthorized buildings leased by Explo Systems Inc. at Camp Minden, the former Louisiana Army Ammunitions Plant.
Police are evacuating the town of Doyline, about 270 miles northwest of New Orleans. About half the town's 800 residents left Friday.
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M6 propellant is used in howitzers and other artillery. Police began investigating the company after an explosion at the site Oct. 15.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press