West Explosion Still Under Investigation: Investigators Still Working on Causes for West Explosion
Nearly three weeks later, investigators from a number of different federal and state agencies continue to work around the clock to try to determine what ultimately caused the April 17 explosion at the West Fertilizer plant in the small town of West, Texas.
Because it’s a very complex case, for a number of reasons, investigators are being very careful to get it right. For one thing, the intensity of the explosion was such that the impact was felt 20 miles away, and even read as a small earthquake. It heavily damaged a large number of homes, including blowing out windows and rooftops all over town, and spreading debris as far as two miles away. And of course, 12 people died, including 10 first responders and two others who just happened by and tried to help.
Investigators are using a variety of tools to assist them in reconstructing the events that happened that evening, including digital mapping of the blast site, and numerous tests of the soil and rubble. After they collect as much data as possible, a model of the building will be designed, so that investigators and others can test a number of various scenarios about what may have happened.
Up until now, chemical tests have only come up positive for fertilizer, but investigators haven’t examined the huge 90-foot-wide crater caused left in the aftermath of the blast yet. As of now, they don’t know which chemicals may have been responsible, or how much of each may have been on the property at the time of the fire and explosion.
Thus far, there have been six lawsuits filed against the owner of the West Fertilizer plant, Adair Grain, including injured parties and businesses that were damaged in the explosion.
State agencies and federal agencies will continue to piece together this puzzle for some time. But the bottom line is, families lost loved ones, people were badly, and perhaps permanently injured, and many residents of West, Texas that lost all of their belongings. These people deserve answers, and they deserve justice.