Apr 19, 2013

Eyes on Texas: Fertilizer Explosion in West

A roundup of news, columns and features about the state, from media around the world.

A fertilizer plant explosion near Waco garnered a lot of international attention, likely because it occurred just days after the Boston Marathon bombings. Earlier reports had as many as 15 to 35 dead in West. By Friday morning, the Austin American-Statesman reported that 12 people had died, most of them the initial responders to the plant fire, and about 200 people had been injured.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the grim search for survivors or bodies was continuing.

The Austin American-Statesman’s initial report included a witness saying “the whole earth shook” during the explosion, which is captured here on video that has received international attention.

How big was the explosion? It had the force of a small earthquake, said ABC News, and registered on a seismogram 400 miles away. The Washington Post and the American-Statesman have taken a more macro look at the explosion. The Post reports “there have been at least 16 unintended explosions of ammonium nitrate since 1921,” six of which were in the United States. The Statesman reports that the regulation of the fertilizer industry is “a patchwork.”

The Associated Press interviewed a Texan who had just finished the Boston Marathon before the bombings, and then was saw the West explosion. Joe Berti said that surviving both incidents was “a miracle.”