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Year after blast, Texas town ponders new plant

Published On: Apr 18 2014 03:24:03 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2014 03:25:53 PM CDT
West, Texas explosion
WEST, Texas (AP) -

Leaders in a Central Texas town devastated last year by a deadly fertilizer plant explosion are contemplating building a new one, calling it a crucial step in West's economic recovery.

The idea has raised anxieties among locals, who say the continued lack of state and local regulations would put them at risk of another disaster. But many residents and officials see a new plant as a necessary risk for a town whose economic lifeblood is agriculture.

Local animal feed company general manager Donna Charanza says West would be lucky to have another plant, but would "have to be careful about where it goes."

A fire inside the plant a year ago ignited 34 tons of ammonium nitrate, causing an explosion that killed 15 people and leveled homes and schools.