CSB Video Documenting the Blast Damage in West, Texas
West Explosion Damage
CSB's 2016 Impact Video

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Air ambulances spent hours shuttling burn victims to the helicopter pad outside the emergency room at UTMB Galveston in a harrowing scene resembling something out of a war movie. Just as the NTSB investigates what causes plane mishaps and tells airlines what lessons they can learn to prevent future…
Investigating such accidents is the responsibility of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) - the independent, nonregulatory federal agency that I head. The CSB's learnings from high quality accident investigations will not only keep communities and workers safe but also improve companies' bottom lin...

The CSB has investigated 24 chemical accidents in Texas, including the West Fertilizer explosion.

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CSB Safety Video on the April 17, 2013, fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, which resulted in 15 fatalities, 260 injuries, and widespread community damage. The deadly fire and explosion occurred when about thirty tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate exploded after being heated by a fire at the storage and distribution facility.

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Washington, DC, January 15, 2016 - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on Thursday, January 28, 2016, in Waco, Texas, at the Hilton Waco from 6 to 9 p.m. CST to present the investigation report and safety recommendations from the April 17, 2013, ammonium nitrate fire a…
A year after a fire in downtown Athens forced the evacuation of a large chunk of the city, changes are seen in the way ammonium nitrate is stored.The City of Athens passed an ordinance that bans th...
Updated with response from Texas Campaign for the Environment AUSTIN—The Senate gave final approval Thursday to new regulations for ammonium nitrate. The changes are in response to a 2013 explosion…
The Texas Legislature appears to be headed toward passage of the first legislation to tighten the state’s regulation of ammonium nitrate since a massive and deadly explosion at a fertilizer storage facility near Waco two years ago.
Several GOP bills give us hope that a desire to save lives will trump the desire to “let business regulate itself.”
The House environmental regulation panel considered four bills that could beef up regulations for ammonium nitrate.

CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso in Houston Chronicle op-ed

[...] as an immigrant from Colombia, where I first studied chemical engineering, I have a heightened concern for Latinos who work in and around chemical facilities across Texas and in the U.S. Their fatality and injury rates are disproportionately high. According to a report from UC Berkeley, they a…

CSB Chairman Moure-Eraso in Senate testimony today: "It is sobering to reflect that nearly two years after the West disaster, very little if anything has changed in terms of federal, state, or local requirements for ammonium nitrate handling and storage. These practices still lag behind the ammonium nitrate safety practices of other countries ..."

New CSB video safety message on 30th anniversary of #BhopalDisaster discusses West, other recent U.S. accidents

On 30th anniversary of fatal chemical release that killed thousands in Bhopal, India, CSB safety message warns it could happen again. CSB Chairperson says mo...
The West Independent School District superintendent said it was with heavy hearts that the school board decided the district must demolish a historic building due to financial restraints caused by the April 17, 2013, explosion.

“The fire and explosion at West Fertilizer was preventable,” Rafael Moure-Eraso, the chairman of the Chemical Safety Board, told reporters. “It should never have occurred. It resulted from the failure of a company to take the necessary steps to avert a preventable fire and explosion and from the inability of federal, state and local regulatory agencies to identify a serious hazard and correct it.”

A preliminary report on a deadly fire and blast in West, Tex., by the Chemical Safety Board notes that there are no regulations for the storage of ammonium nitrate.
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