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Colebrook police chief describes scene he found after gunpowder plant blew up
Colebrook Police Chief Stephen Cass testifies duringthe trial of former Black Mag gunpowder plant owner Craig Sanborn, 64, of Maidstone, Vt. that he was sitting at his police department computer about three-quarters of a mile from the plant at 23 Gould St. when explosions started going off. (BOB HOOKWAY PHOTO)
"I felt, kind of, the building shake, and then two loud reports. I looked west on Bridge Street, and there was a large cloud of black smoke." Cass said as he arrived moments later at the intersection of Bridge and Gould, firefighters and other emergency personnel started arriving on the run.
Cass said an acrid, orange smoke came from the rubble, irritating his eyes and nose. A man he saw at the scene "appeared to be somewhat in shock." Sheet metal that had once been the building's siding had been blasted away and some of the sideing was in nearby trees when Cass arrived.
Someone, he said, asked him if he could enter the building to "identify persons."
Inside laying on the floor the chief found the body of a 49-year-old Stratford man whom he had known well.
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