Texas Plant Had No Sprinklers, Fire Walls
10 first responders believed to be among the dead: mayor
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 19, 2013 7:15 AM CDT
Updated Apr 19, 2013 8:00 AM CDT
Mourners attend a service at St. Mary's Church of the Assumption Thursday, April 18, 2013, a day after an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – Authorities are coming to grips with the extent of the devastation following a Wednesday night explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. About 200 people were injured and 12 bodies have been recovered so far, the AP reports. That's far fewer than the nearly 40 victims Mayor Tommy Muska had earlier estimated, the Dallas Morning News notes, but the Waco Tribune-Herald says a few more dead are expected. Among the victims are believed to be at least 10 first responders, the mayor tells USA Today, including firefighters and EMS workers who were battling a fire at the plant when the explosion occurred.

Meanwhile, some 50 to 75 buildings were ruined or suffered severe damage. As to what caused the explosion, it could be six months before we know for sure, the Wall Street Journal notes—though nothing has suggested it wasn't simply an accident. The company didn't have sprinklers, blast walls, or fire walls installed because it wasn't dealing with flammable materials, it said in a 2011 federal filing, per the AP. It was fined $10,000 for safety violations last year, though the sum was lowered to $5,250.

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Apr 22, 2013 1:03 AM CDT
They didn't have these safe guards because it was not required, every year we have grain silo fires, fire walls sprinklers are not required, accidents happen, 50,000 people get killed on the highways every year, how is nanny government going to correct that problem, everyone is so concern about what happen in Boston, 3 died, police and firemen died in Texas, 12 that we know of is Obama going to fly to Texas, hell no, Texas didn't vote for him, he loves his LIBERAL northeast crowd.
Apr 20, 2013 2:40 AM CDT
Who needs a firewall? I'm opposed to putting them into automobiles as well as requiring them in businesses that store flammable materials. Just unneeded government regulations requiring auto manufacturers to put them into cars, that end up driving up the cost of cars, cost auto manufacturers money to add them in & burden the unregulated free market for automobiles. Texas must have thought the same way looking at how unnecessary they are for businesses that store flammable materials & wisely looked the other way at this plant not having them. I bet it made that plant more profitable till it blew up. Good for Texas.
Apr 19, 2013 7:24 PM CDT
Is Texas business-friendly or sociopath-friendly?