west fertilizer plant explosion http://kut.org en Texas Agriculture Group Wants Tighter Controls on Ammonium Nitrate http://kut.org/post/texas-agriculture-group-wants-tighter-controls-ammonium-nitrate <p>A Texas agriculture industry group is calling for more stringent reporting by people who possess the fertilizer ammonium nitrate. The <a href="http://www.txag.net/">Texas Ag Industries Association (TAIA)&nbsp;</a>wants people with fewer than&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">10,000 pounds of the chemical to disclose to state officials how much they're storing and where.</span></p> Tue, 20 May 2014 00:24:52 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10451 at http://kut.org Texas Agriculture Group Wants Tighter Controls on Ammonium Nitrate Report: West Responders Weren't Prepared to Fight Fertilizer Plant Fire http://kut.org/post/report-west-responders-werent-prepared-fight-fertilizer-plant-fire <p>The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office says the deaths of 12 people responding to <a href="http://kut.org/post/officials-15-dead-200-injured-west-texas-explosion" target="_blank">last year’s explosion</a> at the West Fertilizer plant could have been prevented.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.tdi.texas.gov/reports/fire/documents/fmloddwest.pdf">Fire Marshal’s report [PDF</a>] released Thursday night says the first responders killed in the April 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West,Texas &nbsp;were not prepared or equipped to deal with such a dangerous situation.</p><p>The report says that is not because the first responders failed to perform their duties as they had been trained, but due to a “systemic deficiency in the training and preparation” of the firefighters.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149827007&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe> Fri, 16 May 2014 13:28:23 +0000 Laura Rice 10433 at http://kut.org Report: West Responders Weren't Prepared to Fight Fertilizer Plant Fire Investigation: Disaster at West Fertilizer Plant Was 'Preventable' http://kut.org/post/investigation-disaster-west-fertilizer-plant-was-preventable <p><em><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/04/22/investigation-fire-and-explosion-at-west-fertilizer-plant-was-preventable/">From StateImpact&nbsp;Texas:</a></em></p><p>A year after a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas, a federal agency is releasing a&nbsp;<a data-mce-="" href="http://www.csb.gov/assets/1/19/West_Preliminary_Findings.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(96, 120, 144); margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgb(153, 153, 153);">report</a>&nbsp;saying the disaster was preventable.</p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;">The&nbsp;<a data-mce-="" href="http://www.csb.gov/" style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(96, 120, 144); margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgb(153, 153, 153);">Chemical Safety Board</a>, which investigates chemical accidents and issues recommendations to ensure public safety, is presenting its preliminary findings tonight in the town of West, Texas, where the fire and subsequent explosion last year took 15 lives, injured hundreds, and destroyed homes and schools.</p><p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:12:40 +0000 Terrence Henry 10278 at http://kut.org Investigation: Disaster at West Fertilizer Plant Was 'Preventable' Year Since West Fertilizer Plant Explosion is One 'Full of Questioning' http://kut.org/post/year-west-fertilizer-plant-explosion-one-full-questioning <p>It’s been one year since a fertilizer plant exploded in the town of West, Texas – just north of Waco.<br />15 people were killed and more than 150 were injured.&nbsp;Dozens of buildings were also destroyed in the blast.</p><p>A year later there are many signs of recovery and rebuilding in the small town.<br />But,&nbsp;for some, the rebuilding process has been difficult.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">West resident Loretta </span>Volcik<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;says overall, the past year has been filled with one thing: Questioning.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145217851&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p></p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:09:29 +0000 Kate McGee 10246 at http://kut.org Year Since West Fertilizer Plant Explosion is One 'Full of Questioning' West Gets $4.8 Million to Fix Water System http://kut.org/post/west-gets-48-million-fix-water-system <p>The Texas town of <a href="http://www.cityofwest.com/">West</a> is getting <a href="http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/19588/">$4.85 million more</a> to help recover from the fertilizer plant explosion that happened one year ago this week. Fifteen people were killed and hundreds injured in the blast on April 17, 2013.&nbsp;</p><p>Governor Perry authorized the funding a day before a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the disaster. West Mayor Tommy Muska didn't question the timing of the grant.</p><p>"It shows a lot of cooperation between local, state and federal that we can come together and secure these funds within one day of the anniversary and move forward," Muska told KUT.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:43:50 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10236 at http://kut.org West Gets $4.8 Million to Fix Water System A 'Roller Coaster' Year For Texas Town Rocked By Blast http://kut.org/post/roller-coaster-year-texas-town-rocked-blast When firetrucks blew through the small town of West, Texas, on the evening of April 17, 2013, sirens screaming, naturally everybody was curious. People got in their cars and went to see the fire at the West fertilizer plant. For 10 minutes, they watched from cars and backyards as the fire grew ever bigger. A few moved as close as they could because they were filming on their smartphones. At no time did it occur to anybody that they might be in danger.<p>And then — a massive explosion. The men fighting the fire at the plant never had a chance. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:41:23 +0000 Wade Goodwyn, NPR 10215 at http://kut.org A 'Roller Coaster' Year For Texas Town Rocked By Blast Investigation Into West, Texas Explosion Stopped Due to Shutdown http://kut.org/post/investigation-west-texas-explosion-stopped-due-shutdown <p>The government shutdown has halted <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/cause-blast-west-fertilizer-plant-explosion-still-unknown">the federal investigation</a> into the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/officials-15-dead-200-injured-west-texas-explosion" target="_blank">West Fertilizer Plant explosion</a>. The explosion in April killed 15 people and injured hundreds of others.</p><p>&ldquo;Some of the brightest scientists in the world are home today rather than doing their work to protect, and give us information so that we can have the right rules and regulations to protect our environment,&rdquo; Sen. Ben Cardin, D-MD, said during a press conference yesterday. &ldquo;The monitoring and enforcement is not being done as it should be done.&rdquo; Cardin chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife.</p><p>The ranks of furloughed workers includes most employees on the Chemical Safety Board, which <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/federal-agency-claims-it-was-shut-out-west-investigation" target="_blank">investigates industrial accidents</a> such as the West Fertilizer Plant explosion.</p><p> Wed, 09 Oct 2013 16:30:33 +0000 Emily Mathis & Laura Rice 8889 at http://kut.org Investigation Into West, Texas Explosion Stopped Due to Shutdown Back to School in West, Four Months After Plant Explosion http://kut.org/post/back-school-west-four-months-after-plant-explosion <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F107306932&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Students are heading back to school in West, Texas today.&nbsp;Many of them will be going back to temporary classrooms.&nbsp;That’s because April’s deadly explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant destroyed most of the city’s public schools, along with hundreds of homes.</p><p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 14:32:47 +0000 Jenny Dubin 8537 at http://kut.org Back to School in West, Four Months After Plant Explosion After West Blast, U.S. Senator Calls for Safer Fertilizer Storage http://kut.org/post/after-west-blast-us-senator-calls-safer-fertilizer-storage <p>A U.S. Senator who oversees environmental regulation is <a href="http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Majority.PressReleases&amp;ContentRecord_id=c48081a5-e7ac-39c4-31ea-9aea92bf98d8">urging state governors</a> to increase safety standards for the storage of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_nitrate">ammonium nitrate</a> in the wake of the <a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/anhydrous-ammonia-ammonium-nitrate-west-explosion-chemicals">explosion in West</a>.&nbsp; Fifteen people were killed in April when a fertilizer plant exploded in the town just north of Waco.</p><p>California Democrat <a href="http://www.boxer.senate.gov/">Barbara Boxer </a>chairs the <a href="http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/?CFID=70864895&amp;CFTOKEN=73379336">U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works</a>.</p><p>“If there’s even one more tragic death from improper storage of ammonium nitrate, we’ll have lost this opportunity. We have the information. The information is power. And the people who have power need to do something about this," Boxer said during <a href="http://youtu.be/IFa9wHHHcRQ">a news conference</a> Tuesday.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 23:46:40 +0000 Nathan Bernier 8327 at http://kut.org After West Blast, U.S. Senator Calls for Safer Fertilizer Storage FEMA Deadline Today for West http://kut.org/post/fema-deadline-today-west-tx <p>Today is the deadline for people in West to apply for federal assistance.</p><p>It’s been nearly eight weeks since the <a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/cause-blast-west-fertilizer-plant-explosion-still-unknown" target="_blank">April 17 fertilizer plant explosion</a> that killed 15 people and destroyed around 150 homes. So far, FEMA has registered 789 survivors and allocated $7.6 million to assist in the recovery.</p><p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 12:34:00 +0000 Hady Karl Mawajdeh 8147 at http://kut.org FEMA Deadline Today for West Federal Agency Claims It Was Shut Out of West Investigation http://kut.org/post/federal-agency-claims-it-was-shut-out-west-investigation <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The head of the <a href="http://www.csb.gov/">U.S. Chemical Safety Board</a> (</span>CSB<span style="line-height: 1.5;">) says other government agencies are getting in the way of its investigation into the fertilizer plant explosion in West.</span></p><p>In<a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/702975-senator-boxer-letter-final-5-17-13-final.html"> a letter to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer</a>, CSB chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso says the <a href="http://www.atf.gov/">Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives</a> blocked CSB investigators from accessing the site for a month, and "altered or removed almost all relevant physical evidence from the site."</p><p> Wed, 22 May 2013 01:00:36 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7833 at http://kut.org Federal Agency Claims It Was Shut Out of West Investigation Officials: Ammonium Nitrate Exploded at West Fertilizer Plant http://kut.org/post/officials-ammonium-nitrate-exploded-west-fertilizer-plant <p>The <a href="http://www.tdi.texas.gov/news/2013/news201315.html" target="_blank">State Fire Marshal’s Office has determined</a> ammonium nitrate stored at the West Fertilizer Plant is what exploded last month. But investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire that led to that explosion.</p><p>As KUT News <a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/anhydrous-ammonia-ammonium-nitrate-west-explosion-chemicals" target="_blank">learned in a conversation with UT Austin chemistry professor David Vandenbout:</a></p> Tue, 07 May 2013 13:18:06 +0000 Laura Rice 7643 at http://kut.org Officials: Ammonium Nitrate Exploded at West Fertilizer Plant Bake Sales to Help West This Weekend http://kut.org/post/bake-sales-help-west-weekend <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F90508725&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>The recovery effort continues in West, where a fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people last month and <a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/new-report-west-explosion-destroyed-142-homes">destroyed dozens of homes</a>.</p><p> Thu, 02 May 2013 23:35:04 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7603 at http://kut.org Bake Sales to Help West This Weekend U.S. Senate to Probe West Fertilizer Plant Explosion http://kut.org/post/us-senate-probe-west-fertilizer-plant-explosion <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The United States Senate will hold a hearing into the</span><a href="http://www.kutnews.org/term/west-plant-explosion" style="line-height: 1.5;"> fertilizer plant explosion</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in the town of West, U.S. Sen.&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.boxer.senate.gov/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Barbara Boxer</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (D-California) announced Monday. Sen. Boxer chairs&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/?CFID=51054923&amp;CFTOKEN=35883254">Environment and Public Works Committee.</a></span></p><p>“I cannot rest until we get to the bottom of what caused the disaster in West, Texas and the tragic loss of life," Sen. Boxer said in <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/695138-barbara-boxer-news-release-on-west-texas-hearing.html">a statement.</a> "We must ensure that facilities like the one in West are complying with chemical safety laws. We will look at how the laws on the books are being enforced and whether there is a need to strengthen them."</p><p> Wed, 01 May 2013 00:19:38 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7569 at http://kut.org U.S. Senate to Probe West Fertilizer Plant Explosion After the Explosion: West Remembers and 'Rises Up' http://kut.org/post/after-explosion-west-remembers-and-rises <p>A memorial service is scheduled today in West for two brothers killed in the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/officials-14-dead-200-injured-west-texas-explosion" target="_blank">fertilizer plant explosion</a>. <a href="http://www.legacy.com/ns/obituary.aspx?n=doug-snokhous&amp;pid=164345527" target="_blank">Douglas</a> and <a href="http://www.legacy.com/ns/obituary.aspx?n=robert-snokhous&amp;pid=164345503" target="_blank">Robert Snokhous</a><strong> </strong>were both captains with the West Volunteer Fire Department.</p><p>A total of <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/texas-town-honors-dead-fertilizer-plant-blast" target="_blank">12 emergency responders</a> died in the blast. Services for some of the others killed are planned for later this week.</p><p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 13:00:56 +0000 Laura Rice 7538 at http://kut.org After the Explosion: West Remembers and 'Rises Up' Some West Residents Still Waiting to Return Home http://kut.org/post/some-west-residents-still-waiting-return-home <p>Some residents in the town of West are still waiting to return home as building inspectors go house to house, <span style="line-height: 1.5; ">making sure the residences are safe to re-occupy after last week’s explosion at a fertilizer plant.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5; ">The blast killed 14 people, 12 of them first responders.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Mayor&nbsp;Pro-Tem&nbsp;of West, Steve&nbsp;Vanek, is asking people to be patient. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p>“It is not safe," Vanek said at an afternoon news conference. "We do have engineers and building inspectors on the ground determining which houses are safe and which are not.”</p><p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 00:29:04 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7473 at http://kut.org Some West Residents Still Waiting to Return Home West Schools Resume Classes After Fertilizer Plant Explosion http://kut.org/post/west-schools-resume-classes-after-fertilizer-plant-explosion <p>Students at <a href="http://www.westisd.net/index.jsp" target="_blank">West Independent School District</a>, in West, Texas, returned to school today for the first time since the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/officials-14-dead-200-injured-west-texas-explosion?nopop=1" target="_blank">fertilizer plant explosion</a> that killed fourteen people and wounded about 200 others.</p><p>Counselors and therapy dogs are on hand to support students struggling to deal with the aftermath of the blast.</p><p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 17:54:59 +0000 Austin Feldman 7446 at http://kut.org West Schools Resume Classes After Fertilizer Plant Explosion Photos: West, Texas Comes Together for a Candlelight Vigil http://kut.org/post/photos-west-texas-comes-together-candlelight-vigil <p><span style="font-family: Times; line-height: normal; ">St Mary’s Church in West, Texas was packed with hundreds of residents grieving for those who were injured or killed by the explosion Wednesday evening.</span></p><p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 05:24:42 +0000 Filipa Rodrigues & Kate McGee 7421 at http://kut.org Photos: West, Texas Comes Together for a Candlelight Vigil Map: Where Are Fertilizer Plants in the U.S.? http://kut.org/post/map-where-are-fertilizer-plants-us <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://www.google.com/fusiontables/embedviz?viz=MAP&amp;q=select+col5+from+1Nc4pLvfGv7quBbbB9khS5wQe8Jm7XHUmHXahwr0&amp;h=false&amp;lat=33.81986179755039&amp;lng=-97.87103322500002&amp;z=4&amp;t=3&amp;l=col5&amp;y=2&amp;tmplt=2;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br><em><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&amp;ll=30.551618,-97.753601&amp;spn=0.262546,1.329346&amp;t=h&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small></em></p><p>If the astounding explosion in West caught most Texans off-guard, it might be because they weren't aware that a chemical facility holding tremendous amounts of a deadly explosive fuel could operate within the confines of a town, incredibly close to homes and schools.</p><p> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 17:42:44 +0000 Luke Quinton 7412 at http://kut.org