The commander of the nation's second-largest arsenal of nerve gas, the Umatilla Army Depot in Eastern Oregon, has been suspended pending an investigation.

But the Army denied there was any danger to the public."Public safety is not involved in this investigation," said Susan Broadbent, spokeswoman for the Tooele Army Depot.

Broadbent declined to disclose the reason for suspending Lt. Col. Everette E. Gray. Nor would she say why he is under investigation.

She said the suspension was ordered under Army Regulation 15-6 which allows the action "for a broad scope of events, or items, to include mismanagement, inefficiency, misconduct or security problems."

Gray was not placed in confinement but the Army barred him from "any involvement with the Umatilla depot" or any activity regarding command policies pending completion of the investigation, Broadbent said.

Lt. Col. Tyranny Hunter, executive officer of the Tooele Army Depot, has been assigned temporary command of the Umatilla depot, Broadbent said.