What happened at the West Texas fertilizer plant?
On April 17, 2013, an explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas killed 15 people, injured at least 200 more and damaged 350 homes. The explosion occurred after a fire broke out in the plant. The West Fertilizer plant had been open and operating since 1962.
When was the fertilizer plant explosion in West Texas?
April 17, 2013
On April 17, 2013, firefighters responded to a fire at the West Fertilizer Company, a storage and distribution facility in West, Texas, a town of approximately 2,900 north of Waco. While crews worked to contain the fire, the site exploded, leveling homes, businesses and other buildings, including a nearby school.
Why do fertilizer plants explode?
Once ammonium nitrate reaches 210 degrees Celsius, it starts to melt, quickly producing a bunch of gases, mainly nitrous oxide, water vapor and nitrogen gas. If those gases can’t escape, temperatures go up and the reaction gets faster and faster. Now this on its own could lead to an explosion.
How many people died in the West Texas fertilizer plant explosion?
On April 17, 2013, the West Fertilizer Company’s storage and distribution facility exploded, killing 15 and injuring more than 150. The blast leveled city blocks and left a crater 93 feet wide and 12 feet deep. The people of West have been rebuilding ever since. On Saturday, the long-awaited memorial was unveiled.
Why is fertilizer bad for the environment?
When the excess nutrients from all the fertilizer we use runs off into our waterways, they cause algae blooms sometimes big enough to make waterways impassable. When the algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water.
Can a bag of fertilizer explode?
What is West Texas called?
The portion of West Texas that lies west of the Pecos River is often referred to as “Far West Texas” or the “Trans-Pecos”, a term first introduced in 1887 by Texas geologist Robert T. Hill. The Trans-Pecos lies within the Chihuahuan Desert, and is the most arid portion of the state.
Why is West Texas so dry?
Except for the wetter, eastern portion of the state, evaporation exceeds precipitation for most of Texas, yielding a semiarid climate that becomes arid in far west Texas.