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5-15 killed, 160 injured in Texas fertilizer plant blast

35 Comments

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From what I just read, 60 to 70 dead so far and the real bad news it is a pretty rural town and the nearest real hospital is about twenty miles away. Nothing so far indicates that it is terrorism but a horrific industrial accident starting with a fire at the factory. Just as my heartfelt prayers continue for the people of Boston they are now also being said for the people of the town of West and to the first responders there who are so critical right now in getting people stable enough to be able to make the long trips to the outside hospitals.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a crappy week this has been for the US.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow, a crappy week indeed, though in this case it sounds more like an industrial accident while Boston was obviously a terrorist act. My heart goes out to all those who perished or were injured, and their loved ones, not to mention the town itself.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nothing so far indicates that it is terrorism

That's true. Still, the timing of all these things together makes me wonder about that, especially since this type of accident is a bit unusual, though not unheard of.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a horrible way to die! RIP poor Texans

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I've yet to hear anything about how the fire started to begin with.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Terrible.

Nothing so far indicates that it is terrorism

A similar explosion happened in France in 2001. Causes have never been established clearly.

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Rest in Peace. Absolutely awful and shocking news. Upwards of 70 dead- likely 100-200. Pray for America.

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Obviously just an industrial accident. Bud sadly, on the conspiracy sites the conspiracy fanatics are already active, blaming this or that nefarious group for it. Bizarre!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Genesis of the fire unknown at this point, whether arson-related or some kind of accident. All that is obvious at this point is that heat, does some weird and amazing stuff to some chemicals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My local news station reported that 60-70 people were killed in the explosion. Very tragic.

RR

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

looks to be 5-15 dead, and 160 + injured according to latest reports

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Well said Zichi. Money talks though. Be it here or the US. Screw the public and their safety.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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The criminals of this huge bomb are the town, city and State officials who give permission for this highly dangerous plant to be located in a residential area, along with the chairman and CEO of the company. Will they face prosecution and prison time? Probably not.

It might have been vice versa, with the town growing up around the plant. But you make an excellent point. Risk assessment should have determined a worst-case blast scenario and a perimeter established within which no building permits for public buildings or private residences would have been allowed.

In my career, I once had a job that required me to visit and work in refineries and petro-chemical plants of all sizes. (Spent a fair amount of time in Texas and Louisiana.) I recall one small Texas town in particular that hosted a plant that, among other things, produced the component that gives natural gas its unique smell. (The entire town smelled like a gas leak.) I worked out of a building that was once an elementary school that was "given" to the plant when an assessment determined that it could have been destroyed in an accident.

When I spoke to a couple of the residents about the smell and any possible danger, one said "It smells like money to me!" I just wonder if any residents of the former town of West would have said the same thing about fertilizer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I stay 20 miles away from West in Waco and we're all just glued to the news trying to find all the information we can. It's crazy to see all this unfold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

right now the governor just held a press conference. Right now they're still just in search and rescue mode and the the how's and why's will be later. They're doing to best to make sure they find as many people as possible.

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God bless the victims and their families.

zichi, get a life.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I guess all those involved never thought anything bad could happen?

The ones who knew what could happen lived nowhere near that plant, and you can bet the farm on that.. A school and nursing home were located within the blast zone and sustained serious damage.

get a life

Unknown dead and over 150 injured were trying to do just that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The town grew around the plant because it was a source of jobs. If anyone is at fault for the number of injuries, the the town for zoning the surrounding area residential.

Does Google Earth allow you inside the facility and give you a listing of their safety protocols? If not, then you anyone scapegoating the plant, mostly like because of the idea that 'all business is evil,' and are being premature until a cause and safety analysis has been determined.

Since I just noticed my original post is gone, I reiterate: God bless the victims and their families.

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They still haven't reported a cause yet. there's around 30+ unaccounted for.

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Probably in the end, the cause of this massive explosion will never be fully known but there are hundreds if not thousands of similar plants across America so they'll all need to be reviewed if another incidence is to be avoided.

Well, the explosion occurred about a half-hour after a fire broke out in the plant. That is why volunteer first-responders are among the missing and dead. I suspect they'll find the reason for the original fire.

I second your call for a nationwide review of all industrial plants. I am not optimistic that it will happen.

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@zichi

Please forgive me that I can't take your interpretation, however experienced, at face-value. I will await whatever results the official inquiry produce.

However, if their safety standards are found to be sub-standard, I will place the blame squarely on the management.

I still think the surrounding area should have been properly zoned so that the school and nursing home weren't nearby.

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well they just had a press conference again but nothing new has been said except that there have been fatalities.

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The depot lacked fire walls and a sprinkler system required by law, but I don't known if the company was fined over that?

Records show that the owner of the site, West Fertilizer Co., had a string of bad history.

Really good information. It appears to point to very weak regulations and very weak enforcement of them. Required by law but not in place? Perhaps this is characteristic of Texas?

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