Point Pleasant - Igloos | Joshua Dudley Greer
The West Virginia Ordnance Works (WVOW) was an explosives manufacturing facility constructed during World War II just outside Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Occupying 8,000 acres along the eastern bank of the Ohio River, the WVOW was built specifically for the production and storage of trinitrotoluene (TNT). At its peak, nearly 500,000 pounds of TNT were produced here each day and stored in a massive array of concrete igloos. The site was officially declared surplus and closed in 1945, after which time much of the land was deeded to the state of West Virginia for the creation of the McClintic State Wildlife Management Area.
In May 2010, one of the remaining concrete igloos unexpectedly and violently exploded. Government officials were brought in to investigate a number of igloos that were being privately leased to local businesses and citizens. After issuing several dozen search warrants, they discovered 14 separate igloos had been storing hundreds of thousands of pounds of unstable, heavy explosives. Due to the potential risk of another explosion this area was closed off to the public and remains under 24-hour surveillance. No remediation solution has yet to be determined.