West Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion

West Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion

“A fire and explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company (WFC), a fertilizer blending, retail, and distribution facility in West, Texas. The violent detonation fatally injured 12 emergency responders and three members of the public. Local hospitals treated more than 260 injured victims, many of whom required hospital admission. The blast completely destroyed the WFC facility and caused widespread damage to more than 150 offsite buildings. The WFC explosion is one of the most destructive incidents ever investigated by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) as measured by the loss of life among emergency responders and civilians; the many injuries sustained by people both inside and outside the facility fenceline; and the extensive damage to residences, schools, and other structures. Following the explosion, WFC filed for bankruptcy.” — CSB Investigation Report

In May 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced their ruling that the fire was “intentionally set.

Date of event: April 17, 2013

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Photo: Aerial photo of the West Fertilizer Company and surrounding area after the explosion. (Credit: CSB)

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