Explosion Hits Texas Ammonia Plant

By Michael B. Marois and Mike Lee - 2013-04-18T09:25:03Z

Photograph by Larry W.Smith/EPA

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Monitoring Developments

The worst-hit areas appeared to be a nursing home and a 50-unit apartment building near the fertilizer plant where there was “quite a bit of devastation,” he said.

Local television station KWTX said as many as 70 people had died, citing West EMS Director George Smith. Television images showed fires in the ruins of the plant and in surrounding buildings, and people being treated on a flood-lit sports field.

Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist at the United States Geological Survey, said a magnitude 2.1 degree seismic event had been registered as the explosion occurred. The impact would have generated a shock wave, she said by phone from Golden, Colorado.