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ARMY TO PROBE CHARGES OF TAD'S INCINERATOR WOES

The Army said Friday it will send a team from its safety center to investigate charges of unsafe conditions at its new chemical weapons incinerator in Tooele Army Depot.

"Each and every allegation will be thoroughly investigated," Brig. Gen. Thomas Garrett, the director of Army safety, said in a statement released at the Pentagon."Safety at chemical demilitarization sites is of the utmost importance. If allegations are made, we must take them seriously until we have evidence to the contrary," Garrett said.

The Army said the move was being taken in the wake of allegations by Steve Jones, a former senior safety inspector at the site. Jones charged that the safety programs were so deficient they pose a risk of "catastrophic release" of nerve gas into the atmosphere.

Jones said he was dismissed because he refused to sign a paper saying the risks of safety problems at the site were acceptable.

Henry Silvestri, the project manager for the Army's contractor at the site, as saying Jones was seeking revenge for his dismissal and there was no truth to any of his charges.

The Army statement said the team will complete its investigation "as soon as possible" and would make a "full report to the public on its findings.