A Tragedy Made Worse by Human Action

Explosion That Killed 15 at Texas Fertilizer Plant Is Ruled Intentional

The fire that set off one of the worst industrial disasters in Texas history — the deadly explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Tex., in 2013 — was intentionally set, federal officials announced on Wednesday.

The announcement by investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives came three years after the explosion at the West Fertilizer Company plant on April 17, 2013. In the years since, law enforcement officials had never revealed a cause. They had previously said three possibilities were under consideration, including faulty electrical wiring, a short-circuit in an electrical golf cart and an intentional act of arson.

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