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CSB to Share Fatal Explosion Findings

April 16, 2014

The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on April 22, 2014, at 5:30 pm at the Southside Community Center in West, TX. At the public meeting, the board will hear preliminary findings from the CSB's investigation team into the April 17, 2013, fire and massive explosion that occurred at the West Fertilizer Co./Adair Grain facility in West, TX that killed 14 people and injuring more than 250 neighboring residents and emergency responders. Twelve of the fatalities were volunteer firefighters and two were members of the public.

The sudden blast at the facility led to the widespread damage and the destruction of more than 150 buildings including an apartment complex, three schools, a nursing home, and a hospital in the surrounding community.

This public meeting is intended to provide the residents of West, TX and other members of the public with information into how this incident occurred and how similar future incidents can be prevented or mitigated. The CSB has invited several stakeholders in the emergency response community to provide their insights into this incident.

Following the staff presentation and expert panel presentation, the Board will hear comments from the public. All staff presentations are preliminary and are intended solely to allow the Board to consider in a public forum the issues and factors involved in this case. No factual analyses, conclusions, or findings presented by staff should be considered final. The meeting is free and open to the public.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating accidents and hazards that result, or may result, in the catastrophic release of extremely hazardous substances. The agency's board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents and hazards, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

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