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Ammonium-Filled Railcar Ruled Out as Cause of West Fertilizer Plant Explosion

by Paige Boldt on 04/24/2013

At an afternoon press conference yesterday, officials ruled out a toxin-filled railcar as the cause of the April 13, 2013 West, Texas explosion.  Just days ago, however, on Monday, Bryan Shaw, the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, suggested that a rail car filled with ammonium nitrate may have caused the Texas explosion.  

Shaw’s statement came along with a New York Post article mentioning that a White House official said the explosion may have been set off by fire reaching ammonium nitrate in a rail car that was on, or adjacent to, the fertilizer facility's property.

Officials on the ground in West, Texas have also ruled out natural causes such as lighting, and are searching methodically for an answer. Meanwhile, the first plant explosion lawsuits have been filed. The first to sue were insurance companies with policies that protect several businesses in West, seeking unspecified damages for "negligent acts and omissions" that allegedly caused the explosion.

So who is to blame? What caused this massive explosion that has damaged hundreds of properties, caused business interruption, and injured and killed our fellow Texans? Right now, it seems no one knows.

As the media continue to speculate about the cause of the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, families are laying their beloved to rest. We in Texas consider the 14 victims of this plant explosion our own, and we mourn them along with their families and friends. Of the 14 we lost, 12 were first responders. We applaud their sacrifice in keeping their communities and our great State of Texas safe.

Tags: Oil and Gas Refinery Explosions, Texas, West Fertilizer Plant Explosion

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