Texas Town Honors Dead From Fertilizer Plant Blast | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Texas Town Honors Dead From Fertilizer Plant Blast

West, Texas, said goodbye to 14 people, including 10 firefighters and first responders, who were killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant that leveled part of the town.

President Obama attended a memorial service on Thursday to console the grieving families. He said the "tragedy has simply revealed who you've always been."

He told the audience of about 10,000 gathered at Baylor University's Ferrell Center in Waco that the country would help the community rebuild.

"No words adequately describe the courage that was displayed on that deadly night," Obama said. "What I can do is offer the love and support and prayers of the nation."

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, urged those watching the memorial to not "forget the courage and the resolve" of the people of West.

Gov. Rick Perry called the first responders killed in the fire and explosion "ordinary individuals blessed with extraordinary courage."

The Associated Press reports:

"A parade of fire trucks and other first responders' vehicles passed through Waco Thursday before a memorial service for first responders. ...

"Family members were escorted into the ceremony on the Baylor University campus. In front were 12 flag-draped caskets. Large photographs were placed in front of each."

About 200 people were also injured in the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co., which contained explosive ammonium nitrate. The exact cause of the fire, however, has yet to be determined.

Obama has ordered the U.S. flag at federal buildings and military facilities in Texas be flown at half-staff Thursday in memory of the victims. He had already planned to be in the state for Thursday's dedication of former President George W. Bush's presidential library at Southern Methodist University.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

In Tom Hanks' iPad App, Typewriters Make Triumphant Return (Ding!)

For iPad users who are nostalgic for the clickety-clack of keystrokes and "ding!" of the carriage return, Hanks has created Hanx Writer, an app that simulates using a typewriter.
NPR

New U.S. Rules Protect Giant Bluefin Tuna

To reduce the number of giant bluefin tuna killed by fishing fleets, the U.S. is putting out new rules about commercial fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the western Atlantic.
NPR

Old Ship Logs Reveal Adventure, Tragedy And Hints About Climate

Volunteers are combing through old ships logbooks for The Old Weather project. It aims to help scientists better understand the climate today by looking at conditions of the past.
NPR

The Troubling Implications Of The Celebrity Photo Leak

To learn more about the recent celebrity photo hack, Melissa Block speaks with Matthew Green of Johns Hopkins University. They discuss how the photos might have been obtained.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.