Fertilizer plant investigation moving at deliberate pace




Posted on April 20, 2013 at 11:01 PM

WEST, Texas — As night fell over West on Saturday, state troopers stood guard.

Denise Kubacak was allowed to go home for the first time after Wednesday's massive explosion at the West fertilizer plant.

Her house is one of the farthest away from ground zero. "The water has been cut off since the blast that night, so we are without any running water," she said. "But we are going to stay. We've got some bottled water."

As other families went to look at their damaged homes, dozens are still waiting for the opportunity.

"We at trying to get to Phase II as soon as possible, and we want to thank them for their patience," said Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek.

Investigators secured the site of the incident as workers spent the night removing chemical-laden tanks. One of then is damaged, but emergency officials said the tanks do not pose a threat.

"That is necessary to make sure that we can mitigate anything that's out there... remove material... and make sure that we have a safe environment for the investigators doing the work," explained Assistant State Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner.

Officials are trying to get a closer look at the devastated fertilizer factory to find answers.

"We have to figure out where the fire started... what caused the fire... and then once we know that cause, we can begin to look at any criminal act should there have been one," Kistner said. "There's no indication at this time that there is one."

A crew from Union Pacific railroad was scheduled to start work first thing Sunday morning to repair tracks adjacent to the plant that were damaged in the blast.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com