This just makes all of the death, injury and destruction all the more senseless, as it's now clear that this horrific accident could have been prevented.
We were devastated Wednesday night when a massive explosion in a fertilizer plant leveled the town of West, Texas, leaving at least 14 dead and countless others hospitalized.
While there's still no clear explanation for what happened, early suspicions were that plant caught on fire because of industrial reasons, and now, it's being reported that those reasons involve the utterly RIDICULOUS and illegal amount of ammonium nitrate being housed there!
Federal officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulate that fertilizer plants disclose amounts of the substance over 400 pounds, as it can be used to make bombs. West Fertilizer had 270 TONS, which means that it was 1350 times over the limit.
As Representative Bennie Thompson explains:
"This facility was known to have chemicals well above the threshold amount to be regulated under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Act (CFATS), yet we understand that DHS did not even know the plant existed until it blew up."
Is there anything else that can be said, when this kind of flagrant disregard for the public's safety ruins the lives of so many?
Our heart goes out to everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy.
[Image via Getty Images.]
Tags: ammonium nitrate, bennie thomas, explosion, fertilizer plant, regulation, representative, u.s. department of homeland security, west fertilizer