The West Fertilizer Company plant explosion in West, Texas, is an international news story without many details having been provided by law enforcement, fire investigators or emergency services directors.
The number of deaths has not been confirmed but has fluctuated from around a dozen to 70 in the news media, which is scrambling to grab readers with sensational headlines and be the first with the “latest news.”
What is known is that the initial fire call from the fertilizer plant occurred at 7:29 p.m. Wednesday night, and 24 minutes later as firefighters, police and paramedics were at the site and evacuating nearby residents the devastating explosion that measured an equivalent of a 2.1 magnitude earthquake shook the small town.
The cause of the fire and explosion is completely unknown at this time.
As for what fertilizer has been produced at the site and the volume of various chemicals on the site, nothing concrete has been released to the media; therefore, there is all kinds of speculation about the volume and type of fertilizer ingredients on the site. Initial reports were about large volumes of anhydrous ammonia. Ammonium nitrate has been mentioned by consumer media comparing the blast to the Oklahoma City bombing.