April 25th, 2013
08:36 PM ET

Records: Texas plant hadn't told feds about explosive fertilizer

(CNN) - The fertilizer plant that blew up in Texas last week warned state and local officials but not federal agencies that it had 270 tons of highly volatile ammonium nitrate on site, according to regulatory records.
The April 17 fire and explosion at West Fertilizer Co. killed 14 people and devastated the small town of West, Texas. Investigators have said they're not sure how much ammonium nitrate was actually on site at the time of the explosion, however, since plant records were destroyed in the blast.
The company sold ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia, both commonly used as fertilizers. It had notified state and local emergency management officials of its stock of both in its most recent declaration of hazardous chemicals, filed in February.


Filed under: Texas • U.S.
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Moving to Fox soon"

    Are you telling me if the Texas plant did tell the feds about the 270 tons "of the highly volitile amonium nitrate fertilizer", it would no longer be volitile? That is about plumb STUPID!

    April 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    This sounds just ridiculous.

    April 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Portland tony

    Would have telling Feds anything .....prevented the accidental explosion of the Amonium nitrate?

    April 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      "The" Feds........

      April 25, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    The storage of that material in itself is the cause not telling Feds about it is not.

    April 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      exactly were I was going with this too @ saywhat
      Were the safety guides in check for this material ?
      "Investigators have ruled out the possibility that natural causes ignited the fire."
      And what does this statement mean? Are they saying it was intentionally set? what?
      Anyhow, *safety* first

      April 26, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. bambi

    I agree with all of you. Telling or not telling the federal employees would not have mattered

    April 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Moving to Fox soon"

    Nobody is speculating an I.E.D. set it off. They'd rather think it was an I.U.D..

    April 26, 2013 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Moving to Fox soon"

    They're hoping to pass the blame unto the Republicans or some white man.

    April 26, 2013 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dangnabbit

    Explosions are a blast.

    April 26, 2013 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dangnabbit

    Am I the only one who expects ALL state and local officials to pass along information to the feds when it is something like this? But they can't be bothered to do so, I see. Too busy trying to shuffle money around to do the right thing, I suppose.

    April 26, 2013 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Hello–Feds and other government officials had to be told? "Fertilizer...exploded...bomb, Oklahoma City, wasn't it...lemme see now..."
    Yesterday I wondered who owned stock in the fertilizer company. Now it's clearing up.

    April 26, 2013 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Pete

    Well kids there goes their workmans comp, umbrella insurance policy covering this plant,up in smoke ...See what happens now when these families of these deceased and injured workers try making comp insurance claims and see them denied,then all hell will break loose in class action lawsuits by legal sharks smelling blood in the water ..You can't put anything that volotile like ammonium nitrate around anything without government regulated safeguards,ever read a MSDS sheet stupids it tells you that!!Now not only do they have insurance adjustors claiming foul but OSHA slamming fines because of this compound and deaths,injuries,destruction resulting from it as well..Talk about a big stink in Texas and its not from this fertilizer either and costly as well for everyone especially the plant workers being held in legal limbo because of complacency and incompetance a deadly ,costly combo if there ever was one!!

    April 26, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. richard in houston

    For all of you saying that telling fed the would not have prevented the explosion I would say that if the fed had been involved maybe some oversight from them would have prevented it.

    April 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. richard in houston

    For all of you saying that telling fed the would not have prevented the explosion. Your right. However I would say that if the fed had been involved maybe some oversight from them would have prevented it. Th republicans took that responsibility from the EPA and shifted it to Homeland Security. Even if they had reported to Homeland they would not be respopsible for its safety only that is secure. But according to the business needs to be left alone crowd, businesses know what they are doing. Some oversight would have been nice.

    April 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ronvan

    HINDSIGHT IS ALWAYS 20/20!! IF, there are laws, regulations, in place, regulating this material, and yes, you can find it on an MSDS, (Material Safey Data Sheet), and they were not followed, then the owners would be responsible!
    IF you are not familiar with MSDS, you can find one for almost everything, from daily items WE use around the house, up to "hazardous materials" that only qualified people can handle. Do not know why the Feds. would be notified as this is a OSHA problem?

    April 27, 2013 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |