A worker transferring dangerous white phosphorous between two storage tanks at the Pine Bluff Arsenal in White Hall, Ark., suffered serious burns on about a third of his body Sunday, officials said.
Rickey D. Myers was in serious condition Sunday evening at the burn unit at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, according to officials at the U.S. military arsenal, where Myers has worked for 16 years.
White phosphorous ignites when it comes in contact with oxygen and produces white smoke that the military uses to obscure operations.
An initial investigation showed possible mechanical failure in the transfer.
"We will do everything possible to find out exactly what caused the accident so it doesn't occur again,"' said arsenal Cmdr. Steven T. Chapman.
Other items stored at the arsenal include nerve gases GB and VX and two varieties of mustard gas.