Texas launches criminal probe into plant explosion; paramedic arrested

Tools

Associated Press

WACO, Texas (AP) - Texas law enforcement officials have launched a criminal investigation into last month's deadly fertilizer plant explosion, after weeks of treating it as an industrial accident.
   
A statement from the Texas Department of Public Safety doesn't say what prompted it to ask the Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff's Department to conduct a criminal probe. It only says the department wants "to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered."
   
The announcement comes on the same day a paramedic who helped to evacuate residents the night of the explosion was arrested on a charge of possessing a destructive device. It's not clear whether the charge has any connection to the April 17 blast that killed 14 people and devastated the rural town of West.
   
Bryce Reed was one of several paramedics who helped evacuate residents from nearby apartments after a fire erupted at West Fertilizer Co. The blast occurred a short time later.
   
Reed was booked early today and turned over to agents from the Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He made an initial court appearance in federal court in Waco, but did not enter a plea.

Earlier story:

WACO, Texas (AP) - Texas law enforcement officials are launching a criminal investigation into last month's deadly fertilizer plant explosion.
   
Investigators have up to now largely treated the West Fertilizer Co. blast that killed 14 people as an industrial accident.
   
The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a Friday statement that the agency has instructed the Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff's Department to launch a criminal probe.
   
DPS Director Steven McCraw says in a statement he wants to ensure "no stone goes unturned" in the investigation.
   
The plant blew up on the night of April 17 after a fire erupted at the facility in the rural town of West.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Advertisement