IMAGE: Pine Bluff Arsenal
Mike Wintroath  /  AP file
Guards stationed at an entrance to the Pine Bluff Arsenal inspect exiting vehicles on Wednesday in Pine Bluff, Ark.
updated 1/27/2006 6:50:58 AM ET 2006-01-27T11:50:58

A guard who reported a security breach inside the nation’s second-largest chemical weapons depot may have mistaken wildlife for human intruders, authorities said Thursday.

The commander of the Pine Bluff Arsenal said officials combed the area but found no footprints or other evidence of human intruders.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the officer saw something, but it wasn’t human,” Col. Brian S. Lindamood said. “At this time I have no idea what it could be.”

Lindamood said the officer was patrolling inside a 500-acre secure section of the arsenal where chemical weapons, including nerve agents, are stored.

“He reported that he saw three individuals on foot inside the (secure area) and when he approached in his vehicle they ran into the woods,” he said.

Lindamood said the guard was between 70 and 165 feet away at the time and the area was brightly lit. The guard won’t face any disciplinary measures.

“In fact, he was commended for the promptness of his report, for the detail contained in his report, and for his diligence in following up until his backup arrived,” Lindamood said.

The 13,000-acre Army complex, located a half-hour south of Little Rock, began destroying its chemical weapons stockpile in March to comply with international treaties.

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