Texas town struggles to rebound from deadly blast

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Category: North America

Published on Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:07

Written by Rick Jervis, USA TODAY

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But the road to recovery has been tough in West, located about 75 miles south of Dallas, and a lingering unease remains.

 

Residents jump at car horns and loud noises, and flaring tempers and alcohol abuse appear on the rise. Others are in the midst of painful rehabilitation from injuries from the blast and learning to navigate lives with rebuilt shoulders and legs.

 

The explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. depot occurred six months ago Thursday. A fire inside a storage building at the plant cooked off a store of ammonium nitrate and triggered the massive explosion, killing 15 people, including 10 first-responders, injuring more than 200 others and destroying 161 homes.

 

The blast blew out windows and tossed residents to the ground for several miles in all directions, left a crater 90 feet across and 10 feet deep and caused more than $200 million in damage. Virtually everyone in this city of 2,800 residents was affected.

 

The 10 firefighters from five departments killed marked the highest single-incident firefighter fatality count in the USA since 9/11, when 340 firefighters died responding to the terrorist attacks in New York, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

 

The memorial service …

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