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At least 74 Texas sites report significant amounts of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate

10 June 2013

A report in the Dallas Morning News claims there are at least 74 sites in Texas that store ammonium nitrate, which fuelled the blast at West Fertilizer near Waco that left 15 people dead and about 200 injured on April 17. In West, about 800 people lived within the half-mile area that sustained the heaviest damage.

The West Fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 and injured over 200
The West Fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 and injured over 200

The newspaper claims that a number of these facilities have wooden warehouses to store the ammonium nitrate, and some have experienced fires, although none explosions as severe as the one at West.

According to an analysis of state data, some 20,000 people live within a half mile of the more than 74 sites in Texas that reported having large stores of ammonium nitrate.

While ammonium nitrate has been the main focus since the West incident, such explosions are rare compared to accidents involving chemicals like anhydrous ammonia and chlorine.

More than 67,000 facilities in Texas reported having significant quantities of hazardous materials during 2012. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act, facilities with specified amounts of hazardous chemicals — circa 10,000 pounds (4,530kg) — must disclose that to state and local officials. 

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