ARA: Cause Of West Fertilizer Incident Evades Officials

At a press conference held yesterday evening by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office, authorities reported that the cause of the fire at the West Texas Fertilizer Facility remains undetermined at this time. They did report on causes of the fire that have been eliminated and causes that have not been eliminated in their investigation.

Media coverage resulting from the press conference at this point seems to be focused on the fact that criminal activity has not been ruled out as a cause of this incident. Officials emphasized the fact that the investigation is still ongoing. ARA will continue to monitor developments regarding this investigation.

Causes of the fire eliminated:

  • Rekindling.
  • Spontaneous ignition (480 system).
  • Anhydrous Ammonia.
  • Ammonium Nitrate.
  • Smoking.
  • Weather.

Causes of the fire that have not been eliminated:

  • 120 Volt electrical system.
  • Golf cart (battery powered, able to cause a fire) in the seed and fertilizer building.
  • Intentionally set fire.

Note: The Texas Rangers and McLennan County Sheriff’s Office last week opened a criminal investigation into the blast. So far, officials have revealed no connection between Bryce Reed’s arrest and the opening of the criminal investigation. Although they are not able to rule that possibility out at this time.

Additional Notes Regarding the Facility and the Investigation

These points were also reported during yesterday’s news conference:

  • The missing persons list from the explosion is now zero. No individuals are unaccounted for at this time.
  • More than 28 other agencies are also investigating the incident.
  • The origin of fire was determined to be in the fertilizer and seed building.
  • The fire sparked two explosions that were “milliseconds” apart. This was recorded by a seismograph.
  • As the fire caused the temperature to increase, pressure increased and the AN sensitivity to shock increased. Debris falling on the AN also could have led to explosion.
  • 28-34 Tons of AN exploded, equivalent to 15,000 – 20,000 lbs of TNT.
  • An additional 20-30 tons of AN was in building and did not explode.
  • 100 tons of AN on a rail car nearby also did not explode.
  • It is estimated that 150 tons of AN were on site at time of incident, less than the 270 tons reported on the Tier 2 report.

Click here to read a press release issued by ATF on yesterday’s press conference.

A press release from the Texas State Fire Marshal’s office is available here.

Leave a Reply

3 comments on “ARA: Cause Of West Fertilizer Incident Evades Officials

Fertilizer Stories

Potash Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium-PotashCorp to become Nutrien upon Merger Completion
June 21, 2017
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have announced today that once the anticipated merger transaction closes, the new Read More
Crop InputsMidwestern BioAg Hosts TerraNu Fertilizer Plant Opening (w/Q&A)
June 20, 2017
Last Friday, Midwestern BioAg was joined by over 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of Read More
Growers looking at soybeans
Crop InputsOhio Releases New Nutrient Management Tools
June 1, 2017
The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has introduced two new nutrient management tools. The Ohio Applicator Forecast is a new Read More
Max Systems Products
Crop InputsMax Systems Products Supercharge Plant Performance
June 1, 2017
Used individually, NanoZyme 2.0 and Nano Brown Sugar from Max Systems LLC, provide plants with balanced minerals and nutrients that Read More
Trending Articles
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Redbanded-stinkbug-on-soybean-Photo-credit-Thomas-County-Ag
Crop InputsExperts: Mild Winter, Early Planting Will Increase Soybean Insect Threat
June 12, 2017
Higher than average temperatures this past winter affected much of the nation, especially the South and Midwest. The National Centers Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
Latest News
Crop InputsArkansas Plant Board Votes to Ban Dicamba — Now W…
June 23, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has voted to pass a proposed emergency rule to ban the use of in-crop dicamba, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsBASF: ‘Closely Monitoring’ Dicamba Situatio…
June 22, 2017
BASF, whose Engenia herbicide is the target of more than 200 drift complaints in Arkansas, emailed the following statement to Read More
ManagementConsolidation Update
June 22, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss progress on manufacturer consolidation, and another big move for Midwest cooperative Central Valley Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
Crop InputsThreat of Dicamba Ban Looms in Arkansas
June 22, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has rejected a proposed ban on the use of dicamba herbicide, but a procedural error Read More
Potash Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium-PotashCorp to become Nutrien upon Merger Complet…
June 21, 2017
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have announced today that once the anticipated merger transaction closes, the new Read More
Crop InputsMidwestern BioAg Hosts TerraNu Fertilizer Plant Opening…
June 20, 2017
Last Friday, Midwestern BioAg was joined by over 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names New President
June 19, 2017
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC announced this morning the appointment of Mary Tolke to the position of President/CEO, effective July 1. Read More
ManagementPlotting Corn, AGCO/Asmark’s Applicator Training Center…
June 15, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent visits to Columbus, OH, and Bloomington, IL, along with an Read More
Seed/BiotechDow AgroSciences Announces Launch of Enlist Corn for 20…
June 14, 2017
Enlist corn will be commercially available in the U.S. for the 2018 growing season. Dow AgroSciences announced the launch today Read More
ASMARK AGCO Applicator Training Center
EmployeesAsmark, AGCO Open Training Center for Beginning Applica…
June 13, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute have opened a new Applicator Training Center, created in a collaboration between the two Read More
Power to Do More Contest Winners
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Three Winners in Power to Do…
June 13, 2017
Thousands of votes have been cast and three farmers have been awarded the power to do more with a $10,000 Read More
Frogeye leaf spot
FungicidesStrobilurin-resistant Frogeye Leaf Spot Threat Looms wi…
June 13, 2017
Heavy spring rainfall throughout the South and Midwest delayed planting and created the perfect environment for diseases like frogeye leaf Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
LegislationICGA Praises President Trump’s Remarks on Waterwa…
June 12, 2017
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s comments Read More
Wheat Growers
UncategorizedWheat Growers Names Tracy Linbo as Senior Vice Presiden…
June 12, 2017
Wheat Growers has hired Tracy Linbo as Senior Vice President of Agronomy. Linbo joins Wheat Growers after having served 10 Read More
EquipmentAgTech Summit Aiming High for Modern Farming Solutions
June 12, 2017
THRIVE AgTech, in partnership with SVG Partners and Forbes, is hosting the third annual Forbes AgTech Summit June 28-29 in Read More
Central Valley Ag Randolph, NE
Precision AgLand O’Lakes Invests in EFC Systems
June 12, 2017
Land O’Lakes, Inc. has made a minority equity investment in EFC Systems, Inc., an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and precision Read More
BRANDT
Crop InputsBRANDT Products Approved for Use with New Cropping Syst…
June 12, 2017
BRANDT, a leading manufacturer of specialty products for the agriculture and turf markets, has announced that 11 BRANDT formulations have Read More