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Smoke rises as water is sprayed at the burning remains of a fertilizer plant after an explosion at the plant in the town of West, near Waco, Texas early April 18, 2013. The deadly explosion ripped through the fertilizer plant late on Wednesday, injuring m
After a massive monthlong investigation, the cause of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion is still a mystery, authorities announced Thursday. They've narrowed it down to three possibilities: a golf cart, electrical problems and arson. Unless arson is ultimately found to have been the cause of the fire that led to the explosion, the answer may never be known despite investigators having sifted through 300,000 pounds of corn looking for evidence.

The fire started at 7:29 in the "seed room," and firefighters arrived at 7:38.

At 7:41 p.m., firefighters called for assistance. Ten minutes later, two explosions erupted milliseconds apart—one small and the other large. The plant was enveloped in a ball of fire and black smoke.

As fire had engulfed the plant, ammonium nitrate fertilizer stored in wooden bins had heated up and become less stable. Falling debris had hit the chemical, by then sensitive to shock, and caused the first blast, said Assistant State Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner.

Investigators said the 28 to 34 tons of ammonium nitrate that blew up was equivalent to 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of TNT.

About 120 additional tons of the chemical did not explode.

Even if the cause of the fire is never known, we can know this: If you're storing hundreds of tons of explosive chemicals, safety precautions are important. Government inspections of facilities storing hundreds of tons of explosive chemicals are important. Not locating facilities storing hundreds of tons of explosive chemicals near schools and homes is important. Having more than $1 million in liability insurance at facilities storing hundreds of tons of explosive chemicals is important. The West Fertilizer Co. and the state of Texas ignored all that, and instead of a fire, there was a fire followed by a massive explosion.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  golf carts have a history of blowing up (10+ / 0-)

    when stored - something about the battery, etc.

    But officials can't be sure the explosion originated with the golf cart because only a few little pieces survived.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:05:38 AM PDT

    •  True. (5+ / 0-)

      The danger with (some) golf cart batteries is that many require that distilled water constantly be added to keep the leaded plates submerged in the battery's sulfuric electrolyte. The other factor in this equation is that most owners don't realize that their golf cart batteries need this type of constant attention. The average cart is powered by lead acid batteries which are positioned underneath the seat. It isn't uncommon to fold back the seat of the cart and find all 6 batteries desperately in need of fluid.

      When batteries run dry, they can smoke and even explode. With each battery packing the explosive power of a grenade, the potential danger is a real threat. In order to prevent this, it is essential to check your golf cart batteries on a regular basis. First, there should be no corrosive phosphorus should be growing around the terminals.

      More here

    •  Or was it an arsonist driving a electrically . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YellerDog, gffish

      . . . .defective golf cart who was vapourized when the ammonium nitrate. . . .?  Or did the arsonist run into a defective electrical panel in the "Seed Room"?  Or . . .

      These kinds of places are way too common and all over the country.  Too bad no one is concerned until a town blows up.  Gov't spending does have a purpose.  Inspect these facilities, and certainly keep'm outta town!  

      Everyone weeps, then goes back to doing the same old thing.  Humans are less valuable than commodities.

  •  Wow. (15+ / 0-)

    So ... like only 1/5 of the explosive material at the plant actually exploded.

    Wow.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:10:09 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Laura nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewtx
  •  I guess their (0+ / 0-)

    "person of interest with the alleged pipe bomb" must have been, um, exonerated, eh? ;)
     

    "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

    by lunachickie on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:36:32 AM PDT

    •  Sometimes "bomb-making materials" (4+ / 0-)

      means the authorities found wire and a piece of pipe.

      •  Sometimes "persons of interest" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, SilentBrook

        trial balloons pop, too ;)

        "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

        by lunachickie on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:41:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no, the pipebomb was real (0+ / 0-)

          it's just likely not remotely related to this case.

          •  There's no disputing that much (0+ / 0-)

            what may have popped there was the "related to" part ;)

            "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

            by lunachickie on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:17:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i've never read any story that suggested (0+ / 0-)

              it ever was related other than the fact that it was an EMT who aided in the aftermath of the explosion. Whatever trial balloon is being suggested probably only existed in the blogs.

              •  That's the only place I ever saw it (0+ / 0-)
                in the blogs
                Sometimes they fly, and sometimes they don't. Assuming it really was one, it crashed and burned in pretty short order.

                "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                by lunachickie on Fri May 17, 2013 at 12:25:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yet every story "mentions" it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                crose

                In a "no known connection" way, but the man and the pipe bomb somehow get mentioned in stories headlined about the plant explosion. Leaves a strong hint for any reader that they might be connected.

                State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy, speaking at a news conference, called the explosion one of the deadliest for first responders in the nation’s history and vowed that the criminal investigation would continue even though the “scene investigation” was finished.

                “We’re going to leave no stone unturned,” he told reporters. One common goal drives investigators, he said: “To understand what happened to give closure to these families.”

                Connealy and other officials refused to answer questions about former West paramedic Bryce Ashley Reed, 31, who faces federal criminal charges of possession of pipe bomb-making materials.

                Reed has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and his attorney has repeatedly said he had nothing to do with the fertilizer plant explosion.

                http://www.dallasnews.com/...
                They did rule out speculation that it was caused by weather, spontaneous ignition, smoking or the rekindling of a fire earlier in the day.

                At a news conference Thursday afternoon, officials with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also said they would not discuss any speculation of a link between the disaster and the May 9 arrest of former West emergency volunteer Bryce Reed on charges of possessing bomb-making materials.

                The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers continue an investigation of any possible criminal activity in the blast but say there is no evidence linking Reed to the explosion.

                http://www.wacotrib.com/...

                “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                by Catte Nappe on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:11:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  third in a series of pipe bombs found this week (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OMwordTHRUdaFOG

            in Clovis NM. Now been handed off to BATE ...

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:18:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not yet (0+ / 0-)
      Reed pled not guilty to the charge of possessing an unregistered firearm and also entered into an agreement to defer his detention hearing, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, to a later date.
      http://www.wacotrib.com/...

      The inconclusive results of the investigation may hasten such an outcome.  Still leaves the question what he had in mind for the pipe bomb, though. At one point there were some hints he dropped that he may have gotten it from his "friend" who was killed. However, it seems he generally has a tenuous relationship with the truth.
      http://www.dallasnews.com/...

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:56:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The inconclusive results (0+ / 0-)

        regarding the blast investigation itself would certainly seem to exonerate Reed and his pipe bomb, at least at first glance.

        The rest of the information, while interesting, doesn't seem to be in dispute.

         

        "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

        by lunachickie on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:26:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How does it exonerate him? (0+ / 0-)

          Leaving open, as it does, some unspecified criminal act which could, theoretically, be someone tossing a pipe bomb in the building?  They didn't say it wasn't such an occurence, just that there were two other possibilities. (Me, I'm voting for the golf cart at this point)

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:46:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's why I said "at first glance" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            crose

            unless they're gonna circle back and say "the pipe bomb" had a part in the "possible arson". But at that point, reasonable readers would expect the cause to simply be referred to as "a pipe bomb".

            The "golf cart" is a little more generic, though, and would serve the same purpose as the notion that a "person of interest" ultimately caused it. Because if the explosion was caused by someone (or something) else, then the lack of regulation by the state of Texas for this kind of thing couldn't possibly have been the cause.
             

            "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

            by lunachickie on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:58:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  not yet -- that was a VFD medic, (0+ / 0-)

      IIRC, from the town. Also, the bomb-making materials, according to the news Wednesday, in question hadn't been connected to the plant explosion.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:18:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A gas-powered golf cart (3+ / 0-)

    or any IC is a no-no in an explosive environment.

    •  It was battery powered (5+ / 0-)

      They also said it was under manufacturers recall.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:02:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On further research (6+ / 0-)

        No golf cart should have been there.

        OSHA on industrial trucks

        Only approved power-operated industrial trucks designated as EX may be used in atmospheres containing acetone, acrylonitrile, alcohol, ammonia, benzine, benzol, butane, ethylene dichloride, gasoline, hexane, lacquer solvent vapors, naphtha, natural gas, propane, propylene, styrene, vinyl acetate, vinyl chloride, or xylenes in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures and where such concentrations of these gases or vapors exist continuously, intermittently or periodically under normal operating conditions or may exist frequently because of repair, maintenance operations, leakage, breakdown or faulty operation of equipment.
        The EX designated units are electrically powered units that differ from the E, ES, or EE units in that the electrical fittings and equipment are so designed, constructed and assembled that the units may be used in certain atmospheres containing flammable vapors or dusts.
        OSHA
  •  and also (6+ / 0-)
    Not locating facilities storing hundreds of tons of explosive chemicals near schools and homes is important.
    It also helps to not build schools and homes near existing facilities with explosive chemicals. Which West-comma-Texas certainly didn't do.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:48:43 AM PDT

    •  That phrasing by Laura was why I couldn't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, SilentBrook

      recommend the diary.  I put a KosCoin in the tip jar, but to me it's very important to emphasize that it was the decision by whatever powers-that-be to build the schools, nursing home and apartments close to the facility, not the other way around, as was implied in the diary.  I'm not sure of the percentages - my gut tells me that it's likely that residential things and industrial facilities with dangerous products are often mixed together with little regard other than to profit by the land owners who are long gone when problems like this happen.  The guy who owned this factory was just unlucky enough to be holding the bag when the music stopped.  Then again, he could have gone above and beyond and actually complied with what little laws there apparently were to report the chemicals accurately and to take adequate safety measures like putting up a berm to shield the areas surrounding the plant.  I don't give him a pass at all.

      •  common in places nationwide. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, elfling, crose

        i think people would be pretty surprised at what's lurking all over.

        my borough for example has minimal zoning, if any at all. our biggest restrictions are we have to put up a fence if we put in a pool, and we can't burn trash. the township has no such restrictions for pools, and only recently banned trash burning.

      •  not the only phrasing of an insalutary nature (8+ / 0-)

        in the diary. Whole town's about how, IMNVHO, this site leans -- away from farms, away from rural concerns, away from working-class USA.

        Apparently, ColoTim, the berm went up in '10, which is how the fine got cut in half at the time, and this is not a factory that makes (NH4)(NO3) but a dealership that gets boxcar loads in for sale to farmers. What happened here is a tragedy, and you've correctly pointed out that the plant owner's luck went down the tubes here.

        The point I want to make is that it isn't just this one plant, or even just this one state. Gutting our public services -- fire, EMTs, cops, county hospitals, ERs, OSHA inspectors, the USDA inspectors, the safety guys from NIOSH -- has been going on in this country damn near since Tricky Dick's adios from the Marine One hatch.

        If we do not stand up and vote out the scoundrels, our great-grandkids will be even more screwed than we already are.

        I have done my dead level best to start with Li'l Ricky and his rotten predecessor every time the Gov's been on the ballet since we lost Ann Richards.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:27:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Try to stop developement (0+ / 0-)

        Depriving the previous land owners of their property don't you know. A land owner should always, always be able to maximize their land value, at the expense of everyone else.

        Unless the PTB are trying to find a hazardous waste dump area.

  •  They are negligent for storing an explosive (0+ / 0-)

    substance in secret, not telling Homeland Security should land them in jail

  •  Are Texans allowed civil suits against the company (0+ / 0-)

    because we know there will be no criminal penalities

    •  How much blood do think that turnip has? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trumpeter, blueoasis

      Sure, the guy is fairly well off compared to many of his neighbors, but he just lost a bunch of his net worth, too.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever blood he has, is the answer (0+ / 0-)

        and there is insurance but he needs to be sued and ruined if that's what it takes to stop others from being negligent of safety just because Texas lets them get away with few regulations

        •  Insurance = $1 million (5+ / 0-)

          That's not even a drop in the bucket. And his other land and business holdings are pretty minor, not to mention he probably won't outlive the duration of the law suits. He's effectively ruined already.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:05:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And no one should be held accountable for this? nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe
            •  Held accountable, sure (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling, trumpeter, blueoasis

              But you aren't going to get any spectacular revenge scenes, perp walks, or what have you. You are going to get a ruined old man dying in a few years (or sooner)

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:41:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I would like to see the state of Texas (6+ / 0-)

              held accountable, in that I would hope that rules will be changed to require an appropriate amount of insurance and to upgrade safety requirements and inspections (in both quality and quantity). There are clearly multiple failures here.

              The reality is that the insurance is essentially zero. That can't be changed.

              The reality is that the owner's assets are on the same order as the insurance - too small to come near to covering even a tiny bit of the damage.

              The reality is that the people of West are screwed and the only possible relief is if the state finds it in its heart to step up and make these people whole financially. Whether that's likely I can't say. The taxpayers in some sense will be on the hook for at least the schools I would think.

              As for the guy who owned it - this is his community and his neighbors. He knew the people who died, and who were injured, and who had losses, personally. I am sure he is horrified by what happened. I doubt he will live long, or prosper. He won't be able to walk away from this in any sense.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:56:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Governor Perry should be held (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gffish

              accountable, ffs. He should be forced to resign in utter disgrace.

          •  and IMNVHO, Catte Nappe, it's the damn insurers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, elfling, OMwordTHRUdaFOG

            and Li'l Ricky who should be sued out of office and existence over this.
            Never happen. Too much crooked money changing hands in Austin.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:30:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What was negligent? Do you have information (0+ / 0-)

          not made public?  What exactly was the act that was negligent?  

          Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

          by thestructureguy on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:21:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Can they sue Texas? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      libnewsie

      If the company only has a couple million, I'd go after the State of Texas for not properly regulating all of this.

      Also, I can kill you with my brain.

      by Puffin on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:35:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Which came first? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, jan4insight

    Was it the homes and schools or the fertilizer plant?

    Same problem in either case, but a different group of bad guys.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:38:06 PM PDT

    •  The distributor was there first (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, Yo Bubba, gffish

      Homes and schools came after.
      It's important to remember that this guy didn't manufacture anything. He sold fertilizer to local farmers, planting season was starting and thus had a lot stored on his property.The owner was grossly negligent, but he's not some rich guy that they're going to get millions out of in law suits.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:53:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dsitributor? So why the continual references (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        to fertilizer plant?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:04:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Highly accurate media and/or bloggers? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, skohayes

          Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

          by grubber on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:15:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I could probably pull up 50 comments (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          where I and others pointed that fact out in several  diaries here, but it doesn't seem to be getting through.
          Here's a picture of before the explosion, and West Fertilizer is over on the very right of the picture- as you can see, it's a couple of grain storage bins, a few large metal buildings used for storage and some tanks for anhydrous ammonia storage (those white things at the bottom):
           photo westtexasfertilizer_zpse20e70a2.jpgwidth=450

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Sun May 19, 2013 at 02:54:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Note to self... take name off waiting list (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, libnewsie, Naniboujou

    at nursing home located next to facility that stores hundreds of tons of chemical explosives.

    "The press just doesn’t know how to handle flat-out untruths," ~Paul Krugman

    by Nimbus on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:42:06 PM PDT

  •  Which was established first (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, libnewsie

    the plant or the schools? Because it could very well be that the schools were built near an existing fertilizer plant, not the other way around. Schools require a lot of acreage, and it may very well be that the land surrounding the plant was the last good size chunk to be developed in the town.

    In either case, heavy industrial facilities and schools should not be located close to each other.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:54:25 PM PDT

    •  Whether school or bomb plant first, really stupid. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spud1, libnewsie

      Is there anybody thinking about life-safety in West Texas?
      That's the real question.

      •  I was the project architect for a new (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Naniboujou, patbahn, jan4insight

        elementary school here in Maine, located on a former chicken farm. Digging the foundation, the contractor ran into a three foot thick by 12 feet wide vein of chicken carcasses - there had been a die off in the 1970's, 60,000 birds in all, and they brought in a bulldozer to create a trench to bury them.

        Someone in the community must have known about it, but we didn't until we found it.

        Cheap, large, available land.

        Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

        by Spud1 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:11:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The birds are not visible. An Architect that sites (0+ / 0-)

          a school near a fertilizer plant did it because either they were stupid or didn't care. An Architect that sites a fertilizer plant near a school did it because either they were stupid or didn't care.

          What came first doesn't matter. Whether it's the chicken or the egg, it's something that's not supposed to happen in USA.

          This isn't bhopla (wiki):

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...
          the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident in India, considered the world's worst industrial disaster. It occurred on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals. The toxic substance made its way in and around the shantytowns located near the plant. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death tol
          l was 2,259.
          •  Architects don't develop schools, school districts (0+ / 0-)

            do, and it is zoning laws that regulate land use. Zoning laws are created by the local government, and sometimes the state.

            There are thousands of examples of hazardous use sites adjacent to residential or other uses that are incompatible. It happens in the USA all the time. Every gas station is a potential hazard, for example.

            Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

            by Spud1 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:55:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  100 tons in a boxcar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    Three times the amount that blew up was just rolling down the rails for who knows how many miles, not to mention other boxcars rolling towards other fertilizer distributors in other agricultural areas.

    Blast walls along every mile or railroad track in the other 49 states?

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:20:27 PM PDT

  •  Whatever the cause ... (0+ / 0-)

    Congress, Governor Perry, the Texas state legislature, regulatory agencies at both the state and national level, and the wacko religious nut who owned the company, Donald Adair and his damned nutjob Jesus is my Savior religion, they are all culpable! Zoning agencies who should have stopped construction of the plant in residential and school areas!

    The heinous stupidity of Texas seems to have no end.

    Don't pray to your damned Jesus for the salvation of your soul when you are allowing irreparable harm to happen to real human beings in the real world!

    •  Um, the site has been operating there since 1961 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      libnewsie

      before homes and schools and everyone else showed up.  I don't know that the owner's or anyone else's religion has anything to do with this.  Though it does appear that local government stupidity or negligence may have been a culprit.

  •  good thing the rest didn't go up. (0+ / 0-)

    another 120 tons of AN and the rest of the town may not have survived.

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