New report details injuries from West, TX, fertilizer explosion

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Waco, TX – The 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX, injured more than 250 people, causing contusions, lacerations, brain injuries and more, according to a report released June 24 by the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District and Texas Department of State Health Services.

The report identified abrasions and/or contusions as the most common nonfatal injury, suffered by 141 people. Other nonfatal injuries from the explosion included lacerations (134), traumatic brain injuries or concussions (53), and tinnitus or hearing problems (34). The blast injured at least 252 people directly and 10 people indirectly.

At the time of the incident, a majority of individuals directly injured by the explosion were inside a structure, and more than 75 percent of the injured people were less than 1,000 feet away from the blast. Many of the injured were nearby residents – a nursing home, apartment complex, two schools and some homes were located close to the plant.

At least 14 other people died in the explosion, which has been linked to a fire in a warehouse where combustible ammonium nitrate was stored in wood bins. Most of the victims killed were firefighters responding to the blaze.