News

Anniversary Observed At Texas Fertilizer Site

Anniversary Observed At Texas Fertilizer Site

Photo: clipart.com

Spencer, IA: (Apr. 16, 2014) – In West, Texas Thursday evening, people will pause at exactly 7:51 p.m. for a moment of silence.

That’s the moment one year ago that a fire in a wooden storage shed holding 30 tons of ammonium nitrate triggered a powerful explosion that was felt miles away.

The explosion at West Fertilizer Company raised questions about how to safely store ammonium nitrate, but very little has been done in Texas or elsewhere in response to the West disaster.
Texas State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy’s staff has spent the past year touring the state and collecting data on Texas fertilizer stockpiles. The findings? The conditions that led to the West explosion are fairly common among those who store ammonium nitrate across Texas still today. Fifty-two of the 97 locations that store 10,000 pounds or more of ammonium nitrate in Texas do so in wood frame structures similar to West.

Texas lawmakers are discussing what needs to be done but proceeding cautiously. Rep. Joseph Pickett, chairman of the Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, said lawmakers have to perform a balancing act between public safety and creating new regulations. He said his committee is not likely to recommend creating a state fire code concerning storage of ammonium nitrate, but more likely to recommend requiring appropriate levels of insurance coverage.

So far, Texas is the only state that has looked at potential changes to state law. Just eight states have ammonium nitrate storage laws, including Iowa, but all of them pre-date the West disaster by at least eight years.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

More clues point to an all-girl ‘Ghostbusters’

Fresh
kristenwiig

Director Paul Feig has teased fans with his latest "Ghostbusters" casting coup.

in Entertainment

Star-studded cast bringing back ‘Wet Hot American Summer’

Fresh
25-overlay9

Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Rudd will officially reprise their roles from the 2001 cult comedy.

in Entertainment, Sports

Chocolate maker trolls Patriots with ‘deflated football’ candy

Fresh
sarrischocolate

The chocolate football with a big dent in its side is good enough to (ch)eat!

in Entertainment

Chris Pratt the favorite to take on ‘Indiana Jones’ remake

chrispratt

The "Guardians of the Galaxy" star is the latest frontrunner to lead a planned Disney remake.

in Entertainment

Liam Hemsworth might take over for Will Smith in ‘Independence Day’ sequel

liamhemsworth

Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are expected to return in "ID Forever," which is slated for a 2016 release.