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Natsios Young Architects

27 August 2006. Add ground level photos by Cryptome today which show that there appears to have been no change in security of the site since the aerial photos were taken.

27 August 2006



This study material will help you prepare for the written examination for the Certificate of Fitness for the General Blaster/Demolition of Buildings/Underwater Blasting. The study material includes information taken from the Fire Prevention Code and the Fire Prevention Directives of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, NYFD. The study material does not contain all of the information you need to know in order to work safely when storing, handling, or using explosives. It is your responsibility to become familiar with all applicable rules and regulations of the City of New York, even if they are not covered in this material.

The key to preventing explosives accidents is to follow proper blasting procedures. Safe blasting practices must be followed at all times. Safe practices are required from the moment explosives are delivered to the magazine to the inspection that is made after the blast.

There are several kinds of persons who work with explosives. It is important that each person know and understand what they are permitted to do. A person working with explosives should never try to do something that they have not been trained do. Every person who works with explosives must have a Certificate of Fitness. A person should not do anything with explosives unless they have a Certificate of Fitness for what they are doing.

The blaster is the most highly qualified person at the blasting site. The blaster has total responsibility for the use of explosives and record keeping. The blaster has responsibility for the safety of the public. The blaster is responsible for all work with explosives. The blaster plans the blasting work, supervises loading of the blast, and is responsible for setting off the blast. Only the blaster may give permission to fire a blast.

The powder carrier is essentially an "apprentice" blaster. The powder carrier helps to load holes with explosives. The powder carrier assists the blaster in preparing primer cartridges and in wiring charges.

Explosives loaders help the blaster in tunnel and shaft work. The explosives loader helps load the tunnel face to prepare for the blast.

Explosives handlers are the drivers of the trucks used to deliver explosives and blasting caps to the blast site.

Explosives handlers are not permitted to do any other work with explosives.

The magazine keeper accepts delivery of explosives at the work site. The magazine keeper keeps records of explosives as they are received and used. The magazine keeper is responsible for the safe keeping of explosives in the magazines.


All explosives and blasting caps must be stored in magazines specially made for that purpose. A magazine must be approved and have a permit to store explosives. Magazines must be under the direct supervision of a magazine keeper holding a Certificate of Fitness. The only duties of the magazine keeper are to guard the magazine and to maintain accurate records.

The magazines must be kept locked when they have explosives or blasting caps in them. The magazines should be unlocked only when materials are delivered to the magazine, or are removed for delivery to the blast site. Only the magazine keeper, the blaster or the powder carrier may have access to the keys to the storage magazines.

Accurate records of all explosive materials must be kept. These records are required to meet the regulations of the Fire Department of New York City. Separate records are required for blasting caps and sticks of dynamite. The picture below [not provided] shows the form that is used for blasting caps.

The blasting cap record shows when blasting caps were received at the job site. The record also shows who received the blasting caps and how many blasting caps were delivered. The record shows when any blasting caps were taken from the magazine to be used in a blast.

Blasting Cap Record

The picture on the next page [not provided] shows the record that is kept for sticks of dynamite. The record keeps track of when explosives were received and when they were taken out. This way all explosive materials are accounted for at all times.

Dynamite Record

The blasting cap record and the dynamite record are kept in the magazine. The records must be surrendered to a duly authorized Fire Department representative when requested.

Only the amount of explosives that will be used for the next blast that is being loaded should be removed from the magazine. Any explosives that are not used for the blast must be returned to the magazine as soon as possible. Explosives taken from the magazine should be carried only in their original containers or special carrying boxes. The original containers or special carrying boxes should be used to return unused explosives to the magazines

The magazines must be kept clean. Areas within 25 feet of the magazines must be kept clean and free of all rubbish. Dead grass and shrubbery and other obstructions must be removed. Empty cartons, packing materials and other combustible materials pose a dangerous fire hazard. Smoking, open flames, matches, lighters, etc. are prohibited inside or within 50 feet of a storage magazine. Persons should not be permitted to loiter in the area near the magazine.

The amount of explosives that may be kept in a magazine depends on the class of the permit for the magazine. The permit must be kept in the magazine and ready for inspection. The classes of magazines and the maximum amount of explosives that may be stored are as follow.

First Class 1,000 pounds
Second Class 500 pounds
Third Class 250 pounds
Fourth Class 100 pounds
Fifth Class 25 pounds

Explosives and blasting caps may not be kept in the same magazine. Two separate magazines are required. One magazine is used to store explosives. Another magazine is used to store the blasting caps. The magazines for explosives and blasting caps should be at least 100 feet apart. A special variance is required if the magazines must be closer than 100 feet apart.

The Superintendent, the Blaster and the Magazine Keeper must inspect the magazines at the end of each work day. They must also inspect the job area and the carrying boxes. After the inspection they must sign the Blasting Cap Record and the Dynamite Record. Any explosive materials that were not used during the day must be returned to the vendor.

Whenever a magazine keeper is relieved by another magazine keeper, both should inspect the magazine. They should check the explosives on hand and both sign the Magazine Record Slip in each other's presence.

The Magazine Record Slip should be kept in the magazine. The Magazine Record Slip should be given upon request only to an authorized representative of the Fire Department. The condition of the magazines are inspected regularly by representatives from the Fire Department. These inspections are also recorded on the Magazine Record Slip. The illustration on the next page [not provided] shows the Magazine Record Slip.


Only specially designed vehicles may be used to transport explosives. All vehicles used to transport explosives in New York City must have a permit. Two persons holding Certificates of Fitness as explosives handlers must be on each vehicle transporting explosives. This is in case one person is injured, becomes ill, etc. The explosive handlers are responsible for seeing that the vehicle is in safe operating condition. They must also check that proper fire extinguishing equipment and flags are in place. Smoking while transporting explosives is strictly prohibited. Matches, lighters or metal tools are also not permitted on any vehicle transporting explosives.

Blasting caps and explosives may not be carried together on the same truck. If a job site needs to have both blasting caps and explosives delivered two trucks must be used. If two trucks cannot be used the truck must make two trips. Explosives may be delivered only to an approved and permitted site.

Only three deliveries may be made to the same site in one day. The amount of one delivery to a site cannot be more than what is permitted by the class of the magazine. For example, a site with a Fourth Class permit cannot receive more than 100 pounds of explosives in one delivery.

The total amount of explosives that can be delivered to a job site in one day depends on the class of permit. The total amount that is delivered cannot be more than three times the amount permitted for that site. For example, a site with a permit for a Third Class magazine may not receive a total of more than 750 pounds of explosives in one day.

A vehicle carrying explosives cannot have more than 1,000 pounds of explosives at one time. No more than 5,000 electric fuses or blasting caps can be carried at one time. A special permit is required if larger amounts must be transported. Vehicles used to carry explosives may not be used to carry equipment or other supplies. Only the explosives handlers may ride on the truck. Other persons are not permitted on the vehicle.

Also, some 16 federal, state and municipal licenses and regulations governing explosives in NYC:

27 August 2006

A writes:

An interesting Eyballing series of the Explo Powder plant, but I must wonder whether or not the site you protrayed is actually the site of production. This seems to be a precursor production or staging facility for either a component or precursor agent for whatever type of explosives that this company manufactures. While it is interesting that was photographed in the initial photo was also seen at the plant in the overhead photography, the placarding required by DOT is not in evidence.

I like what you do a lot of the time, but comparing this plant to the storage facilty in England is disengenous, and seems to diminish credibility. There are perhaps dozens -- maybe even hundreds? -- of plants in the US that produce whatever substance is present at the Explo Powders facility in The Bronx, and the comparison should have been to those. Perhaps look for environmental impact reports that have been filed for the address in the Bronx, then search the EPAs database for other companies and facilties producing the same compound, mineral (which I suspect what is being produced/staged at the Eyeballing imagery you posted), or other substance elsewhere. Do one of your incredible Eyeball searches, and I suspect you will find the same physical security barriers in place at them as well.


Yes, the Explo site is a staging facility. I was surprised at finding an insecure staging area in the city for there are stiff regulations for highest hazard functions, even more so after 9/11.

The aerial photos are a few years old and the site may have beefed up security, but more likely "security is by obscurity," for few persons know the facility is there. Although it would be easy to find it by following a delivery vehicle, which is what piqued my interest when I saw the truck in my neighborhood and took a photo.

Out west there is more attention given to protecting explosives, and most thefts occur at out-of-the-way locations at staging and construction areas, not manufacturing plants. And a means to find those lesser-protected sites is to follow explosives-handling vehicles. In many cases now there are fake convoys and other subterfuges to hide explosives carriers, and some move only at night, adopting procedures long used for transporting munitions. And staging sites are guarded 24x7, or more commonly after 9/11, explosives are removed at the end of the day and returned  to protected storage.

To see in NYC a bright red and blatantly identified pointer to an insecure site is curiously head in the sand. Could be the whole operation is a fake to divert attention from the real hazard, location unknown, perhaps camouflaged as a hospital or school for toddlers -- war-grade deception.

I'll visit to check current conditions. If the site remains as shown in the photos it is likely in violation of law, but that is not uncommon in industry and commerce.

The comparison with Badger's Mount may appear overkill, but it was intended as exemplar of what might be done to counter the industrial aesthetic and regulatory separation  of hazard (by zoning) from the populace.

I had recently come upon ammo dump wandering around England with Local Live and was impressed with British thoroughness, engineering and meticulous gardening of a high hazard site located within a residential area. It provided a handsome example of how a high hazard site can be inserted into a bucolic environment in contrast to the gritty sites in the US and NYC which obscure explosives  and armaments, not to say bountiful other domestic threats posed by unarrested terrorists.

26 August 2006

Explo Powder, Inc.
570 Zerega Ave.
Bronx, NY 10473-1296
Phone: 718-824-6410

Distributor of explosives, filter cloth.
Employees: 10-49
Year Company Founded: 1992
Brand Names: DuPont


Explo Powder Incorporated

Amsterdam Avenue near West 79th Street, Manhattan, 8 August 2006 (Cryptome Photo),+bronx,ny&ie=UTF8&z=17&ll=40.820041,-73.840522&spn=0.006934,0.016994&t=h&om=0

Photos 27 August 2006, during downpour. (Cryptome)

Sign at the street opening to the site. No gates at the street entrance. Piles in background
appear to be road salt and sand for winter use by the Department of Sanitation. No
signage relating to explosives except signs on the red trucks. No surveillance cameras
at the Explo facility. Eight-foot high chain-link fence surrounding the Explo site.
Nobody at the site on 27 August 2006 (a Sunday). Photos taken from public street,
kept out of the site.

Photo 27 August 2006, during downpour. (Cryptome)
A wood-timber magazine blast-protection enclosure between the two trucks appears to
have been added since the aerial photos were taken, or one of the previous two has
been relocated.

Photo 27 August 2006, during downpour. (Cryptome)
Cream-colored building in background is across the river from Explo.

Photo from across the river, 27 August 2006, during downpour. (Cryptome)
Two red trucks and the office trailer are faintly visible. Vegetation has grown since the
aerial photos were taken. No docks at the site, explosives are probably delivered by
truck from the factory, the amount received and/or on hand limited to that of the license

Looking North

Looking East

Looking South

Looking West

Compare Security and Blast Protection to Badger's Mount Ammunition Storage Dump, Badger's Mount, England