Hearings underway to review West fertilizer blast as cleanup continues

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WFAA

Posted on June 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 17 at 1:07 PM

Follow live updates from Brett Shipp at the hearing

The deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West is the topic of hearings at the State Capitol today.

A legislative safety committee is listening to testimony from the Department of Public Safety, emergency management officials and the state fire marshal's office.

The committee will consider state regulations for potentially hazardous materials.

Officials ruled last month there was no "exact cause" of the April 17 fire that ignited 60,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, triggering the blast that killed 15 people, including 12 first responders.

The explosion injured dozens of others and caused about $100 million in property damage.

In West throughout the weekend, volunteer demolition crews dug through the rubble of an apartment complex leveled in the blast. Families had to flee their homes with nothing, and have not been able to safely return.

Volunteers are helping to uncover family photos and mementos.

FEMA says it is standing by its decision to deny assistance for the town, schools and infrastructure repairs, although millions of dollars in individual assitance was approved.

The state has 30 days to appeal FEMA's ruling.

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