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Subject West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Fire That Led To Massive Explosion Which Killed 15, Injured Over 300 & Destroyed 500 Homes Was Intentionally Set
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Original Message "The devastating fire at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas that killed 15 and injured more than 300 people was intentionally set, federal authorities have announced. The massive explosion also destroyed 500 homes and released toxic fumes into the area.

On the evening of April 17, 2013, a fire was reported at the West Fertilizer Company facility. About 22 minutes later, an explosion occurred, sending a fireball nearly 100 feet (30 m) into the air. Of the 15 people who died in the fire, 12 were first responders nearly a third of the town’s volunteer firefighting force, NPR reported at the time.

The US Geological Survey registered the explosion as a 2.1 magnitude quake, adding that “the magnitude measures only the ground motion, not the air wave, so is substantially less than the true size of the event.” It also caused a massive power outage in the surrounding neighborhood, demolished more than 500 homes as well as a high school, middle school, apartment complex and a nursing home and left a crater 93 feet (28 m) wide and 12 feet (3.6 m) deep.

After more than 400 interviews, a systematic fire-scene examination, the review of witness photos, videos and observations, as well as extensive scientific testing, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced Wednesday that the fire has been ruled “incendiary,” meaning that it had been intentionally set.

"We have eliminated all reasonable accidental and natural causes and after the extensive testing that we conducted,” ATF Houston Special Agent in Charge Robert Elder said at a press conference.

So far, the investigation has cost $2 million. On top of that, the ATF is offering a $50,000 reward “for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the fire and subsequent explosion,” the bureau said."

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