Texas opens criminal investigation into fertilizer plant explosion

By David Edwards
Friday, May 10, 2013 12:04 EDT
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Explosion at fertilizer plant in West, Texas
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The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced on Friday that the McLennan County Sheriff and the Texas Rangers were opening a criminal investigation into an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West that killed 14 and injured 200 last month.

“This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a statement. “The citizens of McLennan County and Texas must have confidence that this incident has been looked at from every angle and professionally handled – they deserve nothing less.”

Earlier on Friday, McLennan County Sheriff’s Office arrested West paramedic Bryce Ashley Reed and charged him with possessing an explosive device. Reed had been close to Cyrus Reed, one of the volunteers with the West Fire Department who was killed in the April 19 fires.

Reed reportedly asked an acquaintance to store a package for him after the explosion. The acquaintance reported Reed to authorities after discovering that it appeared to be a pipe bomb. Investigators said that they had no evidence that Reed was connected to the April 19 explosion.

Watch this video from the CNN, broadcast May 10, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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