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Friday, April 19, 2013

Perspective: fertilizer plant explosion far more deadly than Boston bombings

CNN: Twelve bodies have been recovered in West, Texas, Sgt. Jason Reyes said Friday, two days after a fiery explosion ripped through the heart of the close-knit central Texas town.

Sixty people are unaccounted for, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Friday. He said authorities are checking to see whether any of them are in hospitals.

Reyes said 200 people have been injured and 50 homes have been destroyed.

“This is still being treated as a crime scene,” Reyes said.
At the very least, twelve are dead — I want to impress on you that that number is the best case scenario. If we’re lucky and that number holds, then the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. was four times as deadly as two bombs deliberately set by suspected terrorists in Boston. And I think we’re all sure that we aren’t going to be that lucky. That number is not going to hold.

It’s becoming clearer every day that West Fertilizer was ridiculously under-inspected and under-regulated, despite the incredibly dangerous chemicals being used there. Last year, it paid a fine of just $5,250 for violating Hazardous Materials Regulations — a paltry sum, knocked down from the already paltry original judgment of $10,100.

So once the smoke clears on these incidents, which event do you think is going to going to get the spotlight in Washington, lax regulation of industries using dangerous chemicals or terrorism?

The answer’s so obvious the question might as well be rhetorical.

[photo by The Bay Area’s News Station]

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