Fertilizer Plant Explosion Death Toll At 14 4/18/13
UPDATE: 4:41 P.M.
WEST, Texas (AP) - The owner of the fertilizer plant that shattered a
Central Texas town and killed at least 14 people says his "heart is broken with
grief for the tragic losses."
In a statement Friday, West Fertilizer owner Donald Adair said the Wednesday
explosion "will continue to hurt deeply for generations to come."
The blast also injured more than 200 people and destroyed about 50 homes
Adair said one of his own plant employees was among the dead. He was among
the volunteer firefighters killed fighting a fire that led to the explosion.
Adair said he and his family were grateful for the service of those who died
trying to fight the fire. He also said he and the plant management and employees
are "working closely" with agencies investigating the disaster.
Additional sources report that 60 people are still unaccounted for after the blast.
WEST, Texas (AP) - Worshippers came by the hundreds to pray at a non-denominational church service honoring the victims of a Central Texas fertilizer plant blast.
Several hundred people on Thursday night packed St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in downtown West.
A victim relief services chaplain says the prayers and hymns honor the first responders who rushed toward the danger of the plant fire that led to the blast - and those who were simply too close to the site when the blast erupted.
Hundreds of white candles were distributed in the pews for a candlelight tribute.
Initial reports put the fatalities in the Wednesday blast as high as 15, but later Thursday authorities backed away from any estimate and refused to elaborate. More than 160 people were hurt.
DALLAS FIREFIGHTER CONFIRMED KILLED IN PLANT BLAST
DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Fire-Rescue department says one of its off-duty fire captains was killed while helping fight the blaze at the Texas fertilizer plant that exploded in the small town of West.
Dallas Fire-Rescue says in a Thursday statement that Capt. Kenny Harris lived in West and wasn't on duty when he decided to lend a hand to volunteer firefighters battling the Wednesday night fire at West Fertilizer Co.
The statement says Harris was a 52-year-old married father of three grown sons. The Dallas Fire-Rescue chaplain and other members of department are in West to help comfort his family.
REGULATORS FINED TEXAS PLANT FOR SAFETY VIOLATIONS
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal regulators fined the company that operates the Texas fertilizer plant that exploded overnight $10,000 last summer for safety violations. But the government accepted $5,250 after the company took what it described as corrective actions.
Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration determined that the West Fertilizer Co. planned to transport anhydrous ammonia without making or following a security plan. An inspector also found that the plant's ammonia tanks weren't properly labeled.
The same plant just outside Waco, Texas, exploded Wednesday night, killing as many as 15 and injuring over 160. The blast had the impact of a small earthquake and was heard from more than 40 miles away.
It is not unusual for companies to negotiate lower fines with regulators.For more information on how you can help, click here.
Pictures Ctsy: Star-Telegram.com and CBS 11