State News

May 7, 2013 9:21 AM

Ammonium Nitrate Was Explosive In West Plant Blast

AUSTIN - As expected, officials have determined that ammonium nitrate stored at a Central Texas fertilizer plant is what exploded on April 17, killing 14 people and injuring hundreds.

But State Fire Marshal's Office spokeswoman Rachel Moreno says it's still undetermined what touched off the explosive chemical used in many fertilizers. She said findings on what caused the blast on the outskirts of the small town of West will be delayed. They had been expected Friday

Officials had said they were focusing their investigation on ammonium nitrate. Moreno said a spot that is now a 90-foot-wide crater was where the ammonium nitrate was stored.

Also, federal emergency officials have begun offering shelter for West residents whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged. About 70 homes were damaged or destroyed.

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