The building was reportedly on fire when, seconds later, a massive explosion tore through it and into surrounding buildings and apartments.
There is a lot of speculation over the cause of the explosion. The most prominent theory is that it occurred because of ammonium nitrate, which, coupled with the negligence of workers, led to the explosion. This event was eerily similar to a previous one that took place on a ship in Texas City several decades ago. The ship was transporting ammonium nitrate too when it caught on fire and detonated.
Currently, the results of the investigation are inconclusive, but West Fertilizer Co. claims they are doing everything they can to aid the investigators though.
The citizens of West, Texas were all shocked by what happened. It appeared to be another normal day in which people were going about their daily life when this tragic turn of events occurred.
“The tragedy really hit me hard,” freshman Carter Cladderbuck said. “I have just moved to San Diego recently from Texas. It’s horrifying to think about all those people having to deal with this catastrophe.”
The numerous amounts of injuries caused by the disaster led many medics to fear that the death toll may still rise. 24 people are still in critical condition. One woman, who is miraculously healing, has had over 1000 stitches placed in her body.
Many of the injured people have already filed lawsuits against the company. They are currently being sued for negligence and the destruction of property.
The damage was devastating. An ambulance house collapsed leading to increased difficulties in dealing with aiding the panicking populace. The police station was inundated with calls from people trying to figure out what had just happened.
Windows in nearby neighborhood houses shattered and whole buildings were lit on fire. Many of the buildings even collapsed completely.
Those living in West, near the fertilizer plant, were forced to evacuate their homes due to the toxicity of the ammonium in the air.
Whether living near or far from the disaster, Americans nationwide rallied in support of each other. Many medical professionals gathered and offered their help to dispatchers in order to treat the wounded quickly.
“I know that many people join me in wishing a speedy recovery and end to the suffering for those struck by the tragedy,” Cladderbuck said.