Explosive in Texas Plant Blast Revealed

West Fertilizer expected to file for bankruptcy

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 6, 2013 7:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – As expected, investigators have confirmed that the explosive behind the West Fertilizer plant blast last month was ammonium nitrate. However, they still don't know how it was ignited—the investigation will take another one to two weeks to determine that, the AP reports. As you may recall, the plant was storing some 270 tons of ammonium nitrate, 1,350 times what it should have had without telling Homeland Security.

Meanwhile, lawyers have discovered that the plant only carried $1 million in liability insurance, the AP reports. "This lack of insurance coverage is just consistent with the overall lack of responsibility we've seen from the fertilizer plant, starting from the fact that from day one they have yet to acknowledge responsibility," said one of the lawyers. He says that he expects West Fertilizer to divide the million up amongst those who have filed lawsuits against the company, then file for bankruptcy.

An investigators carries a piece of debris amid the destroyed fertilizer plant in West, Texas.
An investigators carries a piece of debris amid the destroyed fertilizer plant in West, Texas.   (AP Photo/Pool/ LM Otero)
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