West Fertilizer Investigators: Ammonium Nitrate Detonated In Explosion

While the investigation into the origin and cause of the West Fertilizer Plant fire and explosion in West, TX, is ongoing, investigators say that ammonium nitrate was detonated in the explosion, However, they don’t know how the explosion was initiated.

The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office originally said the investigation would possibly be completed by May 10. It now says it may take as much as an additional two weeks.

Over 70 investigators from agencies including the State Fire Marshal’s Office and ATF are investigating, according to information released by the Texas Department of Insurance.

The fertilizer facility in West exploded April 17, killing 14 people, injuring more than 200 others and causing an estimated $100 million in damage to the surrounding area.

The Associated Press reported the facility had only $1 million in liability insurance from the United States Fire Insurance Co. of Morristown, NJ.

In an e-mailed message, Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman said her department “does not have actual knowledge of the existence of or details regarding any liability insurance coverage. While we do not have actual knowledge of or details regarding the insurance coverage, others have estimated that the damages at $100 million, far more than the amount of insurance we have heard the company may have had.”

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