Scrap Yard Worker Killed by Military Bomb Blast ID'd

IMAGE: Tuscon fatal bomb blast
Tuscon's police bomb squad on scene a fatal explosion at a local scrap yard. One man was killed when he cut into military ordnance, police said.Tuscon Police Department

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By Phil Helsel

Tucson police have identified the metal worker who was killed when high explosive inside a military bomb he was cutting into detonated Wednesday.

Daniel Wright, 46, was using a torch to cut through a piece of metal that turned out to be a MK-82 general purpose bomb at Tucson Iron and Metal when it exploded at around 12:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m. ET), Tucson police said.

A MK-82 bomb is seen in this file photo.Senior Airman Chris Willis / U.S. Department of Defense

The MK-82 was mixed in with other metal that was being cut into smaller pieces, police Sgt. Pete Dugan said. The bomb is several hundred pounds, but only a portion of the high explosives was set off by the heat and spark from the cutting torch, he said.

Wright’s death is being treated as a workplace accident, and federal authorities are assisting in the investigation into where the bomb came from, Dugan said.

Officials with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, which is located in Tucson, told NBC station KVOA that it an inventory was done after the blast and no weapons are missing.

No one else was hurt in the explosion, police said.