On Wednesday, April 17, in the small town of West, Texas, a fertilizer plant containing ammonium nitrate exploded and destroyed everything in a 5-block radius. At least 15 people perished, 200 were injured, and dozens of homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed.
Do I Have a Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Our law firm has already been contacted by residents of West, Texas, and we are currently representing a number of victims in this horrible tragedy. If you or a loved one was harmed by the fertilizer plant explosion, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit, and we can help.
Investigators Say “Criminal Act” Caused Explosion
May 13, 2016 — Federal investigators have concluded that the fertilizer plant in West, Texas was a “criminal act” caused by a fire that was deliberately set. They have offered a $50,000 reward for help finding the person. Click here to read more.
UPDATE: Victims of Fertilizer Plant Explosion Reach Settlement
October 13, 2015 — Two years after a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, the families of three men who died have reached an undisclosed settlement. Click here to read more.
May 9, 2013 — Ammonium nitrate has been definitively named as the cause of the explosion at West Fertilizer Company — not anhydrous ammonia, as was previously reported. Click here to read more.
May 6, 2013 — West Fertilizer Company was only insured for $1 million in damages. If they are found liable for the explosion, this will likely be significantly less than the damages in West. Click here to read more.
May 3, 2013 — Journalists have uncovered evidence that there were 11 thefts and 5 leaks at the West Fertilizer plant in the last 12 years. Despite the ongoing security issues, the company never had a security guard, perimeter fence, or alarms. Although there is no evidence that theft caused the explosion, it raises concern about the security of dangerous chemicals in the United States. Click here to read more.
May 2, 2013 — Investigators are piecing together clues to determine the source of the explosion. They have ruled out anhydrous ammonia, and now believe ammonium nitrate caused the explosion. Click here to read more.
May 1, 2013 — Lawmakers in Texas and the House will be reviewing regulations and the cause of the explosion in West. Click here to read more.
April 30, 2013 — Residents of West, Texas whose homes were closest to the explosion have been allowed into Zone 3 to see their home and recovery property. Click here to read more.
April 29, 2013 — Individual donations for disaster relief in West are less than $1 million, and the town is in need of financial donations to help with the recovery effort. Click here to read more.
April 26, 2013 — Reuters reports that 270 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored at the West Fertilizer plant, which was never reported to the Department of Homeland Security. Click here to read more.
April 25, 2013 — Hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial aid and hundreds of boxes of relief supplies have been donated to victims of the explosion in West. Many organizations have opened their doors to provide shelter and assistance for victims. Click here to read more.
April 24, 2013 — Two lawsuits have been filed against West Fertilizer Company and Adair Grain for the explosion last week. The first lawsuit was filed by a single mother who lived in the apartment building next to the plant. The other lawsuit was filed by an insurance company that insures homes, businesses, churches, and other buildings in West. Click here to read more.
April 23, 2013 — Locals and lawmakers talk safety in aftermath of fertilizer plant explosion. Click here to read more.
April 22, 2013 — The residents of West are banding together to support each other and rebuild, as donations pour in. Click here to read more.
West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion
On April 17, 2013, at about 7:30 p.m., firefighters responded to a fire call at the West Fertilizer plant in the small town of West, Texas. At the same time, police and paramedics worked to evacuate everyone in the vicinity. At about 8 p.m., a second explosion destroyed everything in a five-block radius around the plant.
The force of the explosion could be felt up to 50 miles away. Many buildings were damaged or destroyed, including 50 homes, three schools, a nursing home, a 50-unit apartment complex, and many businesses in the area.
Explosion Caused 15 Deaths, Hundreds of Injuries
At least 15 people perished in the fertilizer plant explosion, and 200 were seriously injured. Many of the victims were first-responders who were fighting the fire when the explosion occurred. Others were injured by flying debris or falling walls inside buildings. Rescue workers evacuated more than a dozen elderly nursing home residents who were trapped in their room by the explosion. Nearby hospitals reported receiving dozens of people in critical condition. Most of the injuries caused by the explosion included:
- Head trauma
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Eye irritation and injuries
- Hearing loss
Cause of the Fertilizer Plant Explosion Under Investigation
The cause of the fertilizer plant explosion is still under investigation. It is only known that a smaller initial fire somehow spread to storage tanks filled with ammonium nitrate, a highly-flammable ingredient in synthetic fertilizer.
The area is being treated as a crime scene, although there is no indication of foul play. Teams from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), state emergency response teams, fire investigators, and others will be working to determine the cause of the explosion.
West Fertilizer Cited for Inadequate Risk Management Plan
Local reporters with the Dallas Morning News found that West Fertilizer was cited in 2006 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to obtain or qualify for a permit. The company checked a box with “no” for potential fire or explosion risk. When asked to describe the worst possible scenario, they said it would be a 10-minute release of ammonia gas with no injuries or deaths.
Do I have a Fertilizer Plant Explosion Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Texas fertilizer plant explosion lawsuit review.