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As we all know, much more than homes and property was lost in the explosion in West, Texas earlier this week.The community is now beginning to learn the extent of those losses.

Please refrain from snarky comments about Texas, rants about uncaring business owners, or jibes about Republican politicians who are all for federal aid except when they are against it.  Plenty of other diaries for that.

Below the fold, the short but growing list of the human toll.

12 bodies have been found so far. In addition, earlier today a list of 60 persons unaccounted for had been compiled. At that time they were beginning to match that list against the names of the injured who were in one of several hospitals around the region.

“It is with a heavy heart that I can confirm that 12 individuals have been recovered from the fertilizer plant explosion,” said DPS Sgt. Jason Reyes.

The bodies have been sent to a Dallas forensic lab, he said.

11:35 AM Among the firefighters who died in the West Fertilizer Co. explosion Wednesday night were Buck Uptmor of West Volunteer Fire Department and Cyrus Reed and Jerry Chapman of Abbott Volunteer Fire Department
12:10 PM Perry Calvin, a member of the Navarro Mills Volunteer Fire Department and the son of its chief, is among the victims of the Wednesday night explosion at West Fertilizer Co., family members confirmed.
12:55 p.m.: Immediate family members’ Facebook pages have confirmed the death of Jimmy Matus, 52, in the Wednesday night explosion of the West Fertilizer Co. plant. He is owner of Westex Welding
2:45 p.m.: West City Secretary Joey Pustejovsky and Cody Dragoo, an employee of West Fertilizer Co., are presumed dead by friends and family members. [Both were also volunteer fire fighters for the community]
More details on each individual and their families at the source link

I will update as more names are released

2:18 PM PT: 3:53 PM

Morris Bridges and Kenny Harris are among the firefighters killed in Wednesday’s explosion.
 (Harris was a fire captain for Dallas, but lived in West so stepped in to assist in an unofficial capacity) 3:06 PM PT:
Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes confirmed two more fatalities in West, bringing the official total to 14. He did not take any questions after his statement.

Originally posted to Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Prayers, wishes, thoughts (35+ / 0-)

    Hoping that comfort and healing for their families and neighbors will come in due time; while knowing that their loved ones are surrounded with love from friends and strangers, near and far.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:40:33 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for this important diary. (5+ / 0-)
  •  Thank you, Catte Nappe, for this diary (6+ / 0-)

    and for your gracious support for the grieving and your offer to update as more information becomes available.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 02:12:01 PM PDT

  •  This hits home. (5+ / 0-)

    I spent ten years as a volunteer EMT. I've got nothing but respect for people like these volunteer firefighters. They literally put their lives on the line everytime they suit up. And they do it for free. This is heartbreaking.

  •  there's an LA times story with more heartbreak (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Wee Mama, nomandates

    here ... but it is a heartbreaker.
    http://www.latimes.com/...

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 02:49:03 PM PDT

  •  Statement from the company owner (5+ / 0-)

    Hoo, boy, I wrestled with myself on this one. The next "update" was the statement released by the company owner. I didn't want it in the body of this sympathy diary, but....
    The man is 83. Has lived in that community all his life. The president of the company is a younger man who probably had more of the day to day responsibility, and also was a community member. He shares a last name with one of the dead. No doubt they are suffering as they see the outcome of whatever business practices, security and safety failures, or other actions or inactions might have contributed to this tragedy.
    So here it is:

    “This has been a terrible week for everyone in West, Texas and I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt sympathy for those affected and my appreciation for those who responded.

    “As a lifelong resident, my heart is broken with grief for the tragic losses to so many families in our community. I know that everyone has been deeply affected by this incident. Loved ones have been injured or killed. Homes have been damaged or destroyed. Our hearts go out to everyone who has suffered.

    “The selfless sacrifice of first responders who died trying to protect all of us is something I will never get over. I was devastated to learn that we lost one of our employees in the explosion. He bravely responded to the fire at the facility as a volunteer firefighter. I will never forget his bravery and his sacrifice, or that of his colleagues who rushed to the trouble.

    “This tragedy will continue to hurt deeply for generations to come.

    “My family and I can’t express enough our deep appreciation for the loving service and selfless sacrifice from within and around our community responding to the urgent needs of those affected. I am proud to be associated with West Church of Christ, which has opened its doors to the State of Texas to provide grief counseling services. My family and I will continue to assist in relief efforts through our church family.

    “The genuine kindness we have witnessed will be the hallmark for all of our children’s children.

    “Going forward, the owners and employees of Adair Grain and West Fertilizer Co. are working closely with investigating agencies. We are presenting all employees for interviews and will assist in the fact finding to whatever degree possible. We pledge to do everything we can to understand what happened to ensure nothing like this ever happens again in any community.

    “While the investigation continues, and out of respect for the investigative process, we will limit our comments during the weeks and months ahead.”

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 02:56:34 PM PDT

    •  Catte Nappe: thank you for posting this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, nomandates

      I wish ... I wish the world were a better place.
      I kinda had a feeling this might not be a Monsanto branch.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 03:35:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, he and anyone else making a profit out of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      the company could make some small restitution by giving that money to a foundation to help the bereaved. There will be more than enough suffering to absorb those ill gotten gains.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 04:43:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm finding it difficult to respond (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1, Wee Mama, nomandates

        At least without entering into the arenas of discussion I've asked to avoid in this diary.

        It's a very small and close knit community, with most connected by blood, marriage, or life time association and friendship. I'm pretty sure that any with means to help will be there in meaningful ways for those who need the help.

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 05:12:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know what you mean. I live in a similar place, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1, nomandates, Catte Nappe

          further south (many Czechs here too), even have certain tenuous ties to West and the situation there, and ocassionally stopped in there going by on I-35 (although I am cynical about the company).

          I'll bet that Willie Nelson steps up too, he grew up next door.

          "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans!!. . Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

          by Bluefin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:58:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Fixed: (0+ / 0-)
      blah, blah... *
      *Until my lawyers get rolling with the CMSA.

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans!!. . Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

      by Bluefin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:52:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thanks too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      interesting read. Thanks for putting that stement out.

  •  I can't help but see a second failure here (0+ / 0-)

    What is the purpose of zoning laws if not to put potentially explosive manufacturing facilities a safe distance away from homes, schools, apartments, and health care facilities? Oil refineries, fertilizer factories, and pretty much any facility storing more than a few gallons of anhydrous Ammonia are clearly facilities with significant fire and explosion risks. They shouldn't be next to residences.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by notrouble on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 03:37:12 PM PDT

    •  notrouble: I'd bet money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, Wee Mama

      the zoning there is about not having septic tanks too close to house wells. Probably inspected via the County Health Department.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 03:43:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There've been a number of diaries discussing this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, nomandates

      They may be more appropriate venues than a memorial diary to explore the issue further.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 04:23:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anhydrous ammonia is not (0+ / 0-)

      explosive or flammable.  It is highly toxic, but was not the cause of the explosion.  

      Ammonium nitrate, which is dry pellet fertilizer, is explosive if combined with a hydrocarbon (such as diesel or kerosene) and ignited. That's how you make a bomb out of it.

      This is a fertilizer plant, so I'm sure it had plenty of ammonium nitrate around.  How it ignited will be an interesting question to answer.

      The greatest danger from this explosion, after the devastation wrought by the explosion itself, will be the lingering effects of exposure to the toxic anhydrous ammonia. There is no cure for anhydrous ammonia exposure and it can take 15-20 years to fully manifest - damage to eyes, lungs, skin, and digestive tract.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:33:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this post. I haven't followed this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, Catte Nappe, nomandates

    story. There seems to never be a shortage of heartbreak.

    I feel silly blanching at reading accounts that might make me uncomfortable, while recognizing that we all owe a debt to those who rush toward danger hoping to rescue others.

    From time to time we hear that the word "hero" is overused. Sometimes it's the only one that fits, though.

    It matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

    by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 03:59:24 PM PDT

  •  And a thought for some of the littlest victims (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, nomandates, BlackSheep1
    WacoPolice @WacoPolice
    Animal control officers from Waco West Woodway and Hewitt going house to house in West conducting animal search and rescue.
    Fortunately this includes search and rescue. Many folks have not been allowed into their homes in the area to see to their pet's needs.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 04:41:33 PM PDT

  •  Some of the hospitals check in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates, BlackSheep1
    Two hundred people were injured in the blast, which occurred just before 8 p.m. Wednesday.

    A spokeswoman for Scott & White Healthcare said Friday afternoon that seven patients, including one child, remained in critical condition at three hospitals.

    Nine of the 28 patients admitted to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco had been released. Four remained in intensive care.

    Two of the three patients at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple were still in critical condition, as was one of the two pediatric patients receiving care at McLane Children's Hospital in Temple.

    http://www.star-telegram.com/...

    To put some perspective on the magnitude - Temple, TX is about 50 miles away from West.  We also know that some patients were transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas (80 miles away), but that may be due to the nationally prominent burn center there, and not because other closer hospitals could not receive them.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 04:47:49 PM PDT

  •  My hearts go out to the families and friends (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, BlackSheep1

    of those who died as a result of the explosion in West.

    Thank you, Catte Nappe, for this diary and for the updates that you have been posting. All of them. I admire you for doing this and will check back later after I pull myself together.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by nomandates on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 05:29:35 PM PDT

  •  very graceful comment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates, BobBlueMass, Catte Nappe

    by the President about West tonight.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:12:37 PM PDT

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