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30 Dec 2020

A huge explosion. [66], The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services carried out and completed an epidemiological study to describe the physical injuries related to the incident. Just 24 hours ago the building stood erect in the busy subdivision. West is a town that many Texans hold near and dear to their hearts, and as residents continue to respond to this tragedy, they will have the support of the American people.[44][45]. Information about your device and internet connection, including your IP address, Browsing and search activity while using Verizon Media websites and apps. [61] In a statement released alongside the report, the board's chair, Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, stated: "The fire and explosion at West Fertilizer was preventable. This is separate from the $118,300 in fines that West Fertilizer was handed for violating several rules about the handling of hazardous materials. Close Menu. JOHN DAVENPORT, STAFF / … An aerial view shows the aftermath of a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, near Waco, Texas, April 18, 2013. Emergency workers evacuate elderly residents from a damaged nursing home following an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, April 17, 2013. Patients were also admitted to Waco's Providence Healthcare Network, Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Health Network, Dallas's Parkland Memorial Hospital, and Temple's Scott and White Memorial Hospital. [46] Nearby school districts Abbott Independent School District (ISD) and Penelope ISD also closed their schools for a day. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Zur Navigation springen Zur Suche springen. The explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small town of West, Texas last year took much more than fifteen lives. In January 2018, it was reported that the city of West will receive $10.44 million in settlements with defendants in the litigation around the plant explosion, the West City Council approved the settlement, which includes funds for damages not covered by insurance or grants from state or federal agencies. Tragedy struck yesterday in the small town of West, 20 miles north of Waco. REUTERS/Adrees Latif West, Texas: A community mourns – Coffins containing the remains of victims from the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas, at a memorial on April 25. President Barack Obama issued his own statement on April 18: Today our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas in the aftermath of last night's deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant. Investigators blamed stocks of ammonium nitrate fertilizer stored in a bin inside a seed and fertilizer building on the property for the explosion[60] but failed to identify what started the actual fire that led to the explosion. Five years ago, a massive explosion in West, Texas took the lives of fifteen people and injured hundreds more. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Furthermore, according to The Dallas Morning News, Texas law allows fertilizer storage facilities to operate without any liability insurance at all, even when they store hazardous materials. My Administration, through FEMA and other agencies, is in close contact with our state and local partners on the ground to make sure there are no unmet needs as search and rescue and response operations continue. Key facts about the plant explosion in West, Texas In this Wednesday, April 17, 2013, photo provided by Joe Berti, a plume of smoke rises from a fertilizer plant fire near Waco, Texas. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness. West Mayor Tommy Muska: Six or seven firefighters were in the facility at the time of the explosion and not accounted for. Die Explosion in der West Fertilizer Company in West im US-Bundesstaat Texas, 29 km nördlich von Waco, ereignete sich am 17. [40][41] The blast was heard in nearby Hillsboro, Waxahachie, DeSoto, and as far north as Arlington. Around 7:30 p.m. on April 17, a fire broke out at the West Chemical and Fertilizer Company plant in West, Texas, a small town of about 2,800 people 75 miles south of Dallas. More than 250 … [26], In May 2016, the ATF announced that they had determined the fire had been deliberately set. [1], West Fertilizer Company had supplied chemicals to farmers since it was founded in 1962. In May 2013, the Texas Department of Public Safety instructed the Texas Rangers and the McLennan Sheriff's Department to join the Texas Fire Marshal's Office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in the criminal investigation into the explosion.[58][59]. The companies have denied responsibility or wrongdoing in the April 17, 2013, explosion that destroyed nearby schools and homes. Metzger K, Akram H, Feldt B, Stone K, Alvey S, Henley S, Hernandez A, Melville S, Haywood T, Zane D. Epidemiologic investigation of injuries associated with the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. [33], "We do have confirmed fatalities," Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman D.L. Read the NIOSH report on the firefighters killed in the West (TX) Fertilizer Plant Explosion in April 2013. Wilson did not confirm or deny an earlier report that the number of deaths could be in the range of 60 to 70. West is about 20 miles north of Waco. The facility burst at the seams approximately 20 minutes after the fire was first reported to emergency dispatchers. Adair Grain Inc., DBA West Fertilizer Co. "Feds: Deadly Fertilizer Plant Explosion Was 'Criminal Act, "Criminal Probe Started in Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast", "Experts cast doubt on ATF's arson finding in deadly West Fertilizer explosion", "Multiple injuries reported in explosion at Texas fertilizer plant", "UPDATE: Evacuations ordered in West after fertilizer plant blast", "Small fires stop West residents from going home", West Fertilizer was insured for only $1 million, a fraction of estimated losses. West Fertilizer Company building obliterated, This page was last edited on 21 January 2021, at 15:40. "[62][63], The ATF announced on May 11, 2016, that the fire that led to the explosion was intentionally set. According to official estimates from both state and company officials, this amount did not even begin to cover the cost of damages. They reopened on April 22. Wilson said at a midnight news conference on April 17. A permit was issued once the operators brought the facility into accord with agency regulations and recommendations. On April 17, 2013, an ammonium nitrate explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility in West, Texas, eighteen miles (29 km) north of Waco, while emergency services personnel were responding to a fire at the facility. On April 17, 2013, just 20 miles north of Waco, a fire at the West Fertilizer Company turned into an ammonium nitrate explosion. Nearly 600 people [65] Some people complained that it delayed victims' lawsuits against the fertilizer company, gave the defendants more legal ammunition, and prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to put a hold on new chemical plant safety rules. We cannot depend on voluntary compliance. [56] We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. It injured almost 10 percent of West’s population, registered as a magnitude-2.1 tremor and flung debris as far as 21/2 miles away. [69], In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 942 regulating storage and inspection of ammonium nitrate and granting authority to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and local fire marshals to effect and enforce such regulation. OSHA could have fined the company as much as $1,000. Six major blasts since March 2019 In 1989, Juan Flores was in the sixth grade when an explosion at a Phillips 66 plastics plant near Galena Park, Texas, outside of Houston killed 23. [18][19], According to its last filing with the EPA in late 2012, the company stated that it stored 540,000 pounds (270 short tons; 240 t) of ammonium nitrate and 110,000 pounds (55 short tons; 50 t) of anhydrous ammonia on the site. [29], On April 20, some residents who tried to return to their destroyed homes were turned away, because leaking gas tanks were causing small fires. I want to thank the first responders who worked tirelessly through the night to contain the situation and treat the wounded. [68], One year later, in 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that fertilizer storage regulations in the U.S. were unchanged. [8] On May 11, 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives stated that the fire had been deliberately set. [47] The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, an independent federal agency that investigates accidents involving industrial chemicals, also dispatched a major investigation team to West to begin searching for the cause of the disaster. [7] Fifteen people were killed, more than 160 were injured, and more than 150 buildings were damaged or destroyed. This is the scene Thursday April 18, 2012 of the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas. The state fire marshal department said that investigators interviewed "almost 300 people," and followed 160 leads in their initial investigation. [25], After weeks of investigation, the cause of the initial fire remained unknown; authorities ruled out weather, natural causes, anhydrous ammonia, and ammonium nitrate in a rail car as possible causes. [13], According to an open records request by Reuters, the plant had a long history of minor thefts, presumably by people wanting to use anhydrous ammonia to make methamphetamine. He said the blast zone was "just like the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City," comparing its effects to the Oklahoma City bombing, and that "50 to 75" homes and businesses were damaged. Yahoo is part of Verizon Media. Texas Governor Rick Perry issued a statement on the evening of April 17: We are monitoring developments and gathering information as details continue to emerge about this incident. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Your Privacy Controls. May 10, 2013 — -- A first responder who helped treat victims of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last month was arrested and charged today with possessing an explosive device. [14][15][16] In June 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration further fined the facility $5,250 for violations regarding anhydrous ammonia storage. The final confirmed death toll was fifteen fatalities,[2][3] and approximately 160[4] to 200[1] people were injured. According to records obtained by the Associated Press, OSHA cited the plant for improper storage of anhydrous ammonia and fined it $30. The facility lacked burglar alarms, or even a fenced perimeter. Many of the nursing home residents received cuts from flying glass, but emergency personnel on scene judged that most of these injuries were not life-threatening. [39] The United States Geological Survey recorded the explosion as a 2.1-magnitude tremor. Those living in and around West report that the blast felt like an earthquake. OSHA officials said the facility was not on their "National Emphasis Plan" for inspections, because it was not a manufacturer, had no record of a major accident, and the Environmental Protection Agency did not consider it a major risk. [53][54] On April 18, the Texas National Guard sent members of the 6th Civil Support Team to the area to test the air quality and assess chemical and biological hazards. The state fire marshal department said that investigators interviewed "almost 300 people," and followed 160 leads in their initial investigation. [11], At the time of the incident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had last inspected the plant in 1985. [9][10] Adair Grain, Inc. is wholly owned by Donald Adair and his wife Wanda. [31], West Mayor Tommy Muska told the Waco Tribune-Herald that as of late evening, April 17, six or seven volunteer firefighters from the city were unaccounted for. A massive explosion at a fertilizer storage and distribution facility fatally injured twelve volunteer firefighters, two members of … Rick Perry Says", "President Obama Signs Texas Emergency Declaration", "Guard Sent to Test Air After Fertilizer Explosion", "FEMA denies additional aid to Texas town where fertilizer plant exploded", "In reverse decision, FEMA approves major disaster declaration for West", "Texas officials launch criminal investigation into plant explosion", "Texas Explosion Criminal Investigation Launched By Law Enforcement Officials", "Investigators blame ammonium nitrate in massive West explosion", "Lack of Oversight and Regulations Blamed in Texas Chemical Explosion", Chemical Safety Board Ongoing Investigation Emphasizes Lack of Protection for Communities at Risk from Ammonium Nitrate Storage Facilities; Finds Lack of Regulation at All Levels of Government, Investigation: Disaster at West Fertilizer Plant Was ‘Preventable", "ATF Announces $50,000 Reward in West, Texas Fatality Fire | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives", https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Experts-cast-doubt-on-ATF-s-arson-finding-in-West-11725989.php#photo-6158878, http://www.waco-texas.com/userfiles/cms-healthdepartment/file/pdf/West-Texas-Report-6-2014.pdf, https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness/article/epidemiologic-investigation-of-injuries-associated-with-the-2013-fertilizer-plant-explosion-in-west-texas/2D0003D475242EEE29C262CD3730E8DA, "No New Rules Despite Disaster at West, Texas, Fertilizer Facility", "A small town in Texas. "Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Rescuers Searching for Survivors, Missing People", "Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighter among those killed in West", "West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion: 'Significant Devastation' After Blast", "Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Sends 180 to Hospitals, Levels Homes, 5 to 15 Feared Dead", "12 bodies recovered from Texas town after fertilizer plant blast", "Obama consoles Texas community rocked by blast: 'You are not alone, "Powerful explosion rocks small town north of Waco", "Central Texas fertilizer blast triggers 2.1 magnitude quake", "At least 160 injured after West fertilizer plant explosion", "West, Texas mayor: 'I ask for your prayers, "Statement from the President on the Explosion in West, Texas", "Chemical Safety Board Deploying to West Fertilizer Plant Accident", "Texas Task Force 1 deploys to West on search and rescue mission", "West Explosion Claims 14 Lives; 9 Were First Responders", "Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team Dispatched to West Explosion", "West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion: Emergency Declaration 'Forthcoming', Gov. Numbers for people dead or injured varied initially. We have also mobilized state resources to help local authorities. It installed a surveillance system in 2009 after law enforcement recommended they do so. Legal and forensic experts have criticized the ATF investigation.[27]. Hide Caption 4 of 28 Investigators confirmed that ammonium nitrate was the material that exploded. [6], The blast damaged the nearby West Rest Haven nursing home, and many residents were evacuated. Describe the public health and health care implications of a major industrial explosion. In this one hour webinar, which is part of the Hot Topics series, Bruce Clements, MPH, will describe one rural community's response to a major industrial disaster. Due to toxic fumes and a large number of displaced families, West Independent School District announced on its Twitter feed that all five of the district's schools would stay closed until further notice. A giant explosion occurs during the loading of fertilizer onto the freighter Grandcamp at a pier in Texas City, Texas, on April 16, 1947. Explosion site several days after the event. OSHA also cited the plant for violations of respiratory protection standards, but did not impose a fine. [34] Sergeant William Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department said the operation has gone into a "search-and-rescue mode", aiming to find survivors and recover those who might be trapped in buildings. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced on the morning of April 18 that it would send a national response team—including fire investigators, explosive experts, chemists, and canine units—to investigate the site. "[62] The CSB's yearlong investigation found that 1,351 facilities across the country store ammonium nitrate, and that their many areas had no regulations to keep such facilities away from populated areas. Federal law requires that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) be notified whenever anyone has more than one ton of ammonium nitrate on hand, or 400 pounds (180 kg) if the ammonium nitrate is combined with combustible material. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. Some of the descriptions of the explosion and its effect remain chilling to this day. 2.10pm: The Mayor of West, Texas has told US media it is too early to tell how many people have been killed by the fire and explosion. [16][17], The facility caught fire on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, and roughly 20 minutes after the fire was first reported to emergency dispatchers the site exploded. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, "Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, Texas", U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Urban Search and Rescue Texas Task Force 1, Texas Task Force 2 Urban Search and Rescue, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, "Fire that led to Texas fertilizer blast set on purpose, officials say", "Death Toll In West, Texas, Fertilizer Explosion Rises To 15", "Report: As many as 35 killed in Texas plant explosion", "Mayor says at least 10 first responders among those killed in explosion that officials [#lego port not considerable for sort] say was likely an industrial accident", "Fertilizer Plant Explosion In Texas Levels Buildings, Claims As Many As 15 Lives", "Residents return for look at Texas homes after blast", "Explosion hits fertilizer plant north of Waco, Texas", "Ammonium nitrate was trigger for Texas blast, state agency says", "West Fertilizer Plant Showed Few Warning Signs", "I-Team: What Went Wrong At West Fertilizer Plant", "Texas Fertilizer Plant Had Last OSHA Inspection In 1985", "Plant Explosion Tears at the Heart of a Texas Town", Records: Texas plant hadn't told feds about explosive fertilizer, "Exclusive: At Texas fertilizer plant, a history of theft, tampering", "West fertilizer plant said in report that it presented no risk", "Fertilizer Firm Cited Minimal Risks in Regulatory Filings", "Blast at Plant Tears at Heart of Texas Town", "West Fertilizer Plant Explosion: Five Years Later", "Analysis: West Fertilizer report details sequence of a catastrophe", "Live video: Fertilizer plant explosion injures dozens in West, near Waco". A Public Health Report on Injuries Related to the West (Texas) Fertilizer Plant Explosion, April 2013. [12][13], After a complaint in 2006 about an ammonia smell coming from the facility, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigated and cited the operator for not having a permit for two storage tanks that contained anhydrous ammonia. Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, Texas Friday, Jan 29 2016 CSB Safety Video on the April 17, 2013, fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, which resulted in 15 fatalities, 260 injuries, and widespread community damage. Group of plaintiffs was expected to begin in late 2016. [ 72 ] firefighters were in the.! Confirmed that the blast felt like an earthquake, and good, hard-working people have lost their.... ( TX ) Fertilizer plant explosion.svg 6 ], `` We have also state... Destruction to surrounding areas, April 2013 Smith, himself injured, and good, hard-working people have lost lives! 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