Society

Cause Of Fertilizer Plant Explosion ‘Suspicious’

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The explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others may have been criminal in nature, according to a senior Obama administration official.

Authorities do not want to cause a panic, but the official said that a series of overnight briefings have raised concerns that the cause of the blast is "suspicious," according to the New York Post.

It has been theorized that the explosion was caused by a truck or rail holding ammonia catching fire and blowing up.

"It's 50-50," the source said. "Some sort of explosion caused the ammonia truck/rail car to create a shockwave up to a half-mile away, destroying that little town."

Answers about the blast are hard to come by. Police do not know how many people are still trapped in the rubble left by the explosion or how many have been rescued. Officials are operating in "search and rescue mode," and are going from building to building looking for survivors.

A thunderstorm that came through the area helped out in some ways by tamping down some of the chemicals that were released when the plant exploded.

President Obama released this statement: "Today our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas in the aftermath of last night’s deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant. A tight-knit community has been shaken, and good, hard-working people have lost their lives. I want to thank the first responders who worked tirelessly through the night to contain the situation and treat the wounded.

"My Administration, through FEMA and other agencies, is in close contact with our state and local partners on the ground to make sure there are no unmet needs as search and rescue and response operations continue. West is a town that many Texans hold near and dear to their hearts, and as residents continue to respond to this tragedy, they will have the support of the American people."

Sources: New York Post, Inagist