Official: Crime scene investigation at site of Texas blast — ATF bringing in explosives dogs — Determining if fire was intentionally set (VIDEO)

Published: April 18th, 2013 at 10:21 am ET
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Source: CNN
Date: April 18, 2013 at 5:35a ET

At 2:45 in

ATF, who has been called in [...] I will tell you at the beginning that this is a crime scene. We are not indicating that his is a crime, we don’t know. Until we know it’s an industrial accident, we’ll work it as a crime scene. ATF is conducting the main investigation at that crime scene at the fertilizer plant.

At 8:00 in

Investigators in this case have not been able to get inside and see, determine what the source of the fire was, where it came from, whether it was intentionally sent […]

At 16:15 in

ATF is going to bring explosives dogs in […]

Watch the full press conference here

Published: April 18th, 2013 at 10:21 am ET
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48 comments

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48 comments to Official: Crime scene investigation at site of Texas blast — ATF bringing in explosives dogs — Determining if fire was intentionally set (VIDEO)

  • ftlt

    This is a lousy headline… Naturally with folks dying, the cause and the responsibility would demand investigation… A "crime" is word that covers a lot here…


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  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    They should be bringing the dogs to the Texas DEQ to sniff out terrorists. There's obviously a few working there that intentionally permitted a couple of 21,000 lb. tanks of anhydrous ammonia upwind of the middle school and high school.

    To the DEQ terrorist's credit, they did suggest a water spray system at the time of the permit. Anhydrous ammonia is gas. If there's a leak, you can (theoretically) spray enough water in the air to absorb much of it. You still have thousands of gallons of liquid ammonia to clean up, but at least you don't fry the lungs of quite as many school children.

    Looking at Google Maps, I would say West Fertilizer may have added a couple more anhydrous ammonia tanks since then. If you zoom in on the plant and look at the north end, you'll see where they pile up wooden pallets for their occasional 'burn'. The ATF may want to ask plant workers about the practice before they go after Bin Laden again.

    It's pretty uneconomical for a decent-sized farm to use granular ammonium nitrate now for fertilizer. They use direct application of anhydrous ammonia. The West plant may have cooked up other kinds of granular or liquid fertilizers, but a big part of their business would have been bulk anhydrous sales directly to farmers.


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  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    Google map:

    http://goo.gl/maps/7BqD1

    And looks like it's not DEQ in Texas. They have commissions for everything, so it's actually Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

    http://www.wacotrib.com/news/west-fertilizer-plant-caused-school-evacuation-earlier-in-year/article_2384ff9e-7268-5d85-aa75-c5bcfd848a14.html


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  • irhologram

    Today, the Boston federal courthouse was suddenly evacuated over a “code red” bomb threat, causing chaos to reign over planned press conferences and announcements by the FBI.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The Federal building? ..surely..under tight security?
    Northcom.. not there?

    It is just odd that these types things happening with operations 'in place'.

    NORAD/NORTHCOM's command center scrambled into action by Boston bombing

    http://www.legitgov.org/NORADNORTHCOMs-command-center-scrambled-action-Boston-bombing

    " "Are we seeing things in different threat streams?" the team asked itself, according to a U.S. defense official who briefed the E-Ring about the military’s reaction to Monday's bombing. It's one of the products of the September 11, 2001, attacks [when Dick Cheney gave the order for NORAD to stand down].

    MITRE..involved???

    Earthquake : EQ Swarm strikes Oklahoma as U.S. Northern Command was conducting Drills (Apr 16, 2013)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq4Uhk2_3WQ


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  • irhologram

    Heart, posse comitatis makes ANY military involvement illegal…for good reason, because when enacted after the civil war, the tendency to create military dictatorship was well noted in the South…and OUTLAWED until now.


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    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      The day Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 died
      Posted Dec.2008

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT3kE8i7Uno


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    • ftlt

      Irho: Posse Comitatus Act did not ever exclude the use of Federal forces from conducting internal operations against sedition (rebellion) nor terror nor war against the USA … It only restricted the use of those forces from being engaged in the enforcement of domestic laws within the states for domestic purposes…

      While I'm concerned regarding recent interpretations and changes of in the law… I think much of what is being made of it today falls back on the manifold reasons the law was enacted in the first place.. ( both good and bad)… The web-speak around this in the both the progressive and libertarian communities have some solid merits… However, the "State's Rights" arguments against the recent changes or new laws reflect the worst parts of the act's historical reasons for its enactment and current reactionary views of some on the right in this country…

      Far too much is made of this act IMO…. There will always be a degree of crossover into domestic law when there is a use of federal force..

      The bigger question will always be why federal force is being used, to what end and to whose benefit…

      There are far to many precedences in US history to expect federal force will not be used internally


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      • irhologram

        The effect of NDAA on the National Guard is that it is Federalized. It's use has been co-opted by The Pentagon…in fact the National Giard now has a "seat" at the Pentagon, at the pleasure of Northcom and Pacom, at the pleasure of the President. Is the problem….Read the NDAA. And is
        wasn't The Sedition Act enforced through the FBI through the court system and not military tribunals? We may have just forgotten there was to be a distinction between the military and Homeland Security? We may not realize the importance of the state's prerogative of asking for Federal help or, as before, being able to refuse it? These issues are important and the discussion of them isn't "web-speak."


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        • ftlt

          irho: I would agree with you. We are moving towards an Orwellian government. Scary!!!

          However, the National Guard was nationally federalized in 1903 in the Militia Act.

          Even more important, the oldest of state militias could be federalized without state approval. Basic US Const.

          The changes in militia and NG have been necessitated by the changes by modern warfare making and resulting national force structure needs more than anything sinister IMO. (excepting some of the recent Patriot Act and like nonsense – which I do see as sinister in nature – and here I think, we agree)

          You seem to be fixated on State's Rights issues here, why?

          I will repeat my statement."The bigger question will always be why federal force is being used, to what end and to whose benefit". Certainly, a bigger question than not how it is structured.

          I do think you and I are both wary of it use today for the same reasons.

          I do stand by my web-speak statement though. All you have to do is read Rense.com contributors or Alex Jones to see it at work. Half truths, bad history and myth building at work. And a bunch of racism thrown in to boot.

          Heck, these guys are currently regurgitated Nullification and many other antebellum State's Rights issues. They are latter day would be slavers in my mind. And certainly are not free thinkers.

          I have to laugh at their working class adherents claim the vote should be for the "propertied" only – what do they think property…


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      • PavewayIII PavewayIII

        The purpose of Posse Comitatus was more of a bargain between the U.S. (Union) and former Confederate States.

        The South pretty much refused to enforce U.S. laws after the Civil War and didn't care to represent themselves in the new federal government. Federal troops were kept in the South after the war primarily as law enforcement.

        The U.S. worked out the details of Posse Comitatus which compelled them to remove federal troops if the Southern states were willing and able to enforce the law themselves (and send someone to Washington to play nice).

        "…However, the National Guard was nationally federalized in 1903 in the Militia Act…"

        The 1903 Militia Act only allowed the president to call up the National Guard without consent of a state 'in times of war'. The idea being that you need armed, equipped troops right away before you could train and deploy volunteers. It's intent was never to federally 'own' state militias (although that's where it ended up). There were provisions in the bill to contribute federal funds toward state militias and standardize the weapons, training and uniforms.

        The Militia Act had nothing to do with the Insurrection Act, Posse Comitatus or domestic use. The states traded some autonomy for modern, standardized military equipment and federal funding.

        http://www.jstor.org/stable/25119439?seq=1


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        • ftlt

          Pave: Yes, The bargain was over the Hayes presidency…

          As I pointed out for good and bad reasons the bill was passed…

          There were abuses in reconstruction on both sides…

          I would suggest this was a bad bargain and not a good bill… One that contributed to inception of the "Jim Crow" system in the end and certainly, reinforced its implementation….

          This law was clearly ignored in Little Rock in 1957 when US active troops were sent in….. And the NG was federalized too for domestic federal law reasons… Is anyone complaining about that????

          The NG was an expansion by one poster to prove his point… If you read what he was saying you would have followed this… I'm sure, he was aware that they were an apple and an orange to a degree.

          Poor use of cut and paste on the NG – I will leave it at that – as we would be pulling at hairs…And you brought up few if any new points on the NG or the Militia Act…


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          • PavewayIII PavewayIII

            "…However, the National Guard was nationally federalized in 1903 in the Militia Act…"

            No, it only gave the president authority to call up state militias for federal service without obtaining the state's consent. The Militia Act didn't 'federalise' anybody.

            I agree with IRH that the distinction is meaningless today. The NG is a federal asset that states are merely allowed to use if available. If Obama decides some state isn't willing or able to enforce U.S. law, then he most certainly wants to send in troops from somewhere else.

            I won't even start with state's rights. They're long gone thanks to their worthless, crony governments. No law is going to change that now.


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          • PavewayIII PavewayIII

            Allow me one last cut and paste, ftlt. This is what freedom looks like when you gut those useless state's rights and let the federal 'experts' run things:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nrkcUV_7Qk

            Even Dr. Jo looks unhappy:

            http://i.imgur.com/TjNmSFX.jpg


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            • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

              great thread PavewayIII. It's refreshing to witness an intelligent treatment of history, and not have it degenerate into the usual diatribes. You guys are awesome…


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              • PavewayIII PavewayIII

                I should have mentioned the clip was from the failed Watertown, MA sweep for terrorists.

                Hapless Watertown Resident: "Uh… sorry, the TV was turned up. Can I help you guys with something? Are you selling ATF cookies? Awww – that's cute. I'll take two boxes of thin mints…"

                Jackbooted Thugs: "FREEZE! Hands in the air, suspect citizen / terrorist… HANDS IN THE AIR! Don't make us blow your useless eater head off. We got plenty of ammo. Now RUN to the black van of death peon… RUN! I *WILL* kill you if you do not comply."

                Hapless Watertown Resident: "OK, Geeze… forget the damn thin mints too, snapper-head…"


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  • rakingmuck

    There is no way I can break it all down here. Just know I am no conspiracy theorist but a researcher. The Boston bombing is a highly complex story with roots to Texas in a big way. At this time I do not know if the two are connected but I think so and am working on it. If you want to figure it out yourself, it is not that difficult. You of course know the "suspect" then "not suspect" in Boston was a Saudi National. He was deported by demand of SA and is now back at home. There is another Saudi by the name of Al-Turki – beloved in his homeland – in a Texas jail – that was scheduled for release but was stopped by the Prisons Head of Operations – Clements. Clements was murdered shortly thereafter by a man on parole who was "accidentally" released 4 years early (I swear this is all true) cut off his ankle bracelet. "supposedly" murdered Clements and then died in a police car crash. He was a member of the most violent of all prison gangs – Texas Aryn Brotherhood. When the US was forced to deport lead suspect, another story had to be written – quick. So the lone wolf white supremacist story started. This prison gang goes insane (and they are already insane) when they are used as a patsy or cover-up. Where are they located again? Texas. Bombs are us.


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  • irhologram

    I thought the idea of a missile setting off the blast was nuts! Then I saw the video. http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2013/04/missile-used-in-texas-this-sure-the-hell-looks-like-it-to-me-2450200.html?utm_campaign=&utm_source=direct-b4in.info&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fb4in.info%2Fj1tv&utm_medium=verticalresponse&utm_content=beforeit39snews-verticalresponse
    At 5% speed, watch the left of the frame to see the flash move toward the site, accompanied (possibly) by the sound of incoming…then the blast. It's interesting, anyway. What do you think?


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    • jec jec

      Did someone mention a FEMA or Homeland Defense exercise/ disaster drill going on there as well? At Waco? Medical tents? Or is the rumor?


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      • irhologram

        NCTTRAC Course/Exercise Registration Portal
        For More Information Contact:
        Brian Martin, Training & Exercise Coordinator
        Phone: (817) 607-7017
        4/17/2013 8:00 AM – 4/18/2013 5:00 PM Regional EMTF Full Scale Exercise – Black Rain
        Scenario: The North Central Texas region is impacted by a radiological catastrophe at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant. The blast and residual fallout results in many injuries and fatalities within the immediate hazard area and the densely populated DFW Metroplex area is affected by blackouts and rolling brownouts due to loss of power generation. Blast and fallout damage results in a critical taxing of the medical community and generates a potential need for medical evacuation and vast number of worried well within the metropolitan population. Region 2 of the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) must activate and deploy its Ambulance, AMBUS and MMU Strike Teams to assist with the first response and contamination monitoring efforts of the medical community. More…


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        • irhologram

          NCTTRAC Objectives:
          Objective 1: Coordinate an integrated EMTF medical response (EMOC, MMU, AMBUS, and AST) to a regional radiological catastrophe.
          Objective 2: Demonstrate the capability to apply the fundamental knowledge, skills and abilities of ICS/NIMS command and control to coordinated Emergency Medical Task Force operations and logistical support (positions include: Task Force Leader, Operations Section Chief, Ambulance Strike Team Leader, Ambulance Staging Manager, Mobile Medical Unit Group Supervisor.
          Objective 3: Measure capability to activate / notify, roster, muster and deploy essential Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) assets and personnel (i.e., Ambulance Strike Team, AMBUS, and Mobile Medical Unit.)
          Objective 4: Evaluate the ability to integrate the EMTF Zumro MMU with the Base X MMU to achieve a Type 1 Mobile Medical Unit Strike Team.
          Objective 5: Evaluate the ability to utilize Crisis Application tools (E*TRACS and WebEOC) for patient tracking, transport, and reporting measures due to a severe weather event.


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  • irhologram

    C'mon! Please tell me if the video could be showing a missile…


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  • irhologram

    Please someone tell me what this IS!!?? http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/04/west-texas-fertilizer-missle-bomb-video-2624440.html?utm_campaign=&utm_source=direct-b4in.info&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fb4in.info%2Ff1pO&utm_medium=verticalresponse&utm_content=beforeit39snews-verticalresponse. If it was a gas leak away from the main fire, why does it travel in from the sky? Why is it moving horizontally? What traveling in a flare of heat traveling horizontally could set off a target? What mechanism could set it off:the mega explosion…heat, chemicals, containment puncturing? Was the target strafed with a new bomb? What color is the smoke from ammonium nitrate when it burns? What color is the smoke of anhydrous ammonia when it burns?


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  • razzz razzz

    First there was the fertilizer plant fire and firemen arrived to fight it then 20 minute later a nearby railroad tanker car holding ammonium nitrate nearby blew up causing the huge explosion. Why it blew? They are trying to figure it out.

    This would be a typical scenario out of the AL Qaeda playbook, cause first-responders to get onsite (fire in this case) then set off a secondary explosion (bomb underneath the rail car?) killing more of the innocent.

    Of course, maybe the fire was burning so hot that it ignited the tanker car somehow but the explosion will be treated like it was intentional until they figure out what really happened.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/nuke_devastation_ZdnCW7tyZYR9XgRyqldlZO


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  • irhologram

    NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) – The fertilizer plant that exploded on Wednesday, obliterating part of a small Texas town and killing at least 14 people, had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
    Yet a person familiar with DHS operations said the company that owns the plant, West Fertilizer, did not tell the agency about the potentially explosive fertilizer as it is required to do, leaving one of the principal regulators of ammonium nitrate – which can also be used in bomb making – unaware of any danger there.
    Fertilizer plants and depots must report to the DHS when they hold 400 lb (180 kg) or more of the substance. Filings this year with the Texas Department of State Health Services, which weren't shared with DHS, show the plant had 270 tons of it on hand last year.
    A U.S. congressman and several safety experts called into question on Friday whether incomplete disclosure or regulatory gridlock may have contributed to the disaster.
    "It seems this manufacturer was willfully off the grid," Rep. Bennie Thompson, (D-MS), ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement. "This facility was known to have chemicals well above the threshold amount to be regulated under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Act (CFATS), yet we understand that DHS did not even know the plant existed until it blew up."


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  • irhologram

    So, last year DHS knew they had 270 tons of ammonium nitrate, when the limit was 400 lbs…,but this year, they didn't know?


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    • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

      which is why irhologram, it was a failure of oversight on the part of state and federal regulators. Much of resources that were once directed to these necessary agencies and administrators have been redirected over the last twelve years, to other 'priorities'. The oversight scandals that led to the BP/GOM fiasco are familiar to most of us here. We saw this (and still do) in the financial, agricultural, medical, etal, as well as in industrial sectors. It's all about maximizing profit at the expense of a citizenry who are given the 'privilege' of paying for any losses. It truly is a fox watching the hen-house scenario…


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      • irhologram

        Aftershock…"it's all about maximizing profit" and "it's like the fox guarding the henhouse." My logic alarm just went off. What profit did the DHS realize by knowing only 400 lbs. were allowed, but knowing there were 270 tons (That' s 540 elephants at 2 tons each, in the room) actually there? Are you saying they were paid off to do nothing? And what profit incentive does a fertilizer plant have to STORE the equivalent 540 elephants of bomb making material for future use? (Going along with the assumption that those stores are what blew, IN ADDiTION to new supplies in a railroad car nearby)? And in the fox/henhouse analogy, isn't the point for the fox to EAT the chickens? So, allowing that DHS knew, according to the article, I ask, why assume they just had too much to do…were too incompetent…were too lazy…and just in too much of a "Good job, Brownie!" (Bush comment to DHS during Katrina) mentality? Many believe "Brownie" was just following the play book. Why assume DHS is merely bungling and not complicit?


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  • Sickputer

    Welcome to the Wild Wild West of anything goes in Texas concerning state government cooperation with any federal agency. It's a petty squabble between the perpetual governor and Washington DC.

    Our leader has been governor so long (over 12 years) that he has had the opportunity to appoint his own cronies to every appointed position in Texas oversight positions. Actually he could have appointed his own people twice. The spoils system is thriving in the Lone Star State.

    If a Texan needs help with birth control, family planning, Medicare services, or god forbid environmental inspectors to protect the public… Forget it. Texas has a leader who made $1 a year as Lt. Governor under Bush. Now 13 years later his "friends" helped him with land deals and he will leave office a multi-millionaire. As Mel Brooks said…it's good to be the king.


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  • irhologram

    Razz. Best video yet of incoming fireball that ignited the explosion…also immediate aftermath, and residents' demand for their questions to be answered, because some seem to think ignition was from a plane, although no one in the video reports seeing a plane directly. Pretty damning as far as the view of ignition and maybe the intensity of the explosion…it seems to have resulted from the sky on the left. Razz thinks its from a tank car on the tracks. But that's not the sky. Does anyone know the position of the tank car on the tracks in relation to the "incoming" in the video? Also contains police dispatch, who said at first it was a bomb. http://intellihub.com/2013/04/20/west-texas-explosion-might-have-been-triggered-by-militarized-blast-eyewitness-says-it-was-a-plane/


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  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    Media 'steered away' from explaining true 'detonation' in Texas

    Christopher Busby, a chemist from the UK, bemoaned the media’s lack of explanation on the true cause of the explosion in Texas Wednesday.

    The explosion was of a fertilizer plant producing Ammonium Nitrate. The astonishing thing for me, in listening to the interviewees, including establishment experts, was that no-one explained that Ammonium Nitrate was, in itself, an explosive. Indeed it was employed as such at one time, as the ingredient of the high explosive “amatol”.

    If a tank of anhydrous ammonia exploded it would only release the pressure of the contained ammonia. There is not much energy in that. But one firefighter at the Texas site likened the explosion to that of an atom bomb, with hundreds of homes flattened. A brief trawl of the internet will show that this was an Ammonium Nitrate explosion. Any expert should know this. It is basic stuff. To labor the point: the severity of the explosion and its devastating effect was not due to the failure of a tank of liquid ammonia. It was due to the detonation of the product, Ammonium Nitrate, which is a high explosive in its own right. There have been several such massive accidents in history. There was the famous one at Oppau in Germany in 1921. There was even one in Texas in 1947. So why not say so?


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    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      I believe the answer is that for ammonium nitrate to explode, it has to be detonated with a detonator or with some major explosion. And this raises the question, in the week of the Boston bombings, of some individual having placed such a detonator into the store of ammonium nitrate. And the establishment absolutely do not want to start that particular hare running.

      Anyway, my question stands: why did we not hear about the explosive properties of ammonium nitrate? Why were we steered away to something that could not have been the cause?

      http://rt.com/op-edge/media-steered-away-texas-084/


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      • razzz razzz

        MaidenHeave: Thanks for the Busby/RT link. ENEWEWS should learn that facts in true life are stranger than fiction and after the initial shock valve of a headline the actually underlying story is more interesting and informative.


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  • irhologram

    Razz/Maiden Heaven. A picture is worth a thousand government words. When things are as plain as day for those not in the dark…we don't NEED the government to tell us "what happened." Governments telling us "what happens" through the choke hold on media is at least part of the problem. Researchers are discovering "what happened" through the proliferation of cell phone cameras, et al. Maiden Heaven, I didn't know ammonium nitrate (possibly 270 tons of it) required a detonator. So…we know that DHS knew last year the fertilizer plant had 270 tons of it…when only 400 pounds are legal. And we know it requires a detonator to explode. And we see detonation coming in from the sky on the left and exploding the MIDDLE of the already burning facility, not the left edge. So…who has the capability to detonate ammonium nitrate from the sky, zeroing on to dead center of stored ammonium nitrate? Method. Motive? If this isn't labeled a terrorist act, which would increase fear and crackdowns…what Tom Clancy-type twists of plot would lead to setting it off…what is the payoff? And what entity would have the fire power, other than…… .?


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  • irhologram

    A separate EPA program, known as Tier II, requires reporting of ammonium nitrate and other hazardous chemicals stored above certain quantities. Tier II reports are submitted to local fire departments and emergency planning and response groups to help them plan for and respond to chemical disasters. In Texas, the reports are collected by the Department of State Health Services. Over the last seven years, according to reports West Fertilizer filed, 2012 was the only time the company stored ammonium nitrate at the facility.
    It reported having 270 tons on site.
    "That's just a god awful amount of ammonium nitrate," said Bryan Haywood, the owner of a hazardous chemical consulting firm in Milford, Ohio. "If they were doing that, I would hope they would have gotten outside help."
    In response to a request from Reuters, Haywood, who has been a safety engineer for 17 years, reviewed West Fertilizer's Tier II sheets from the last six years. He said he found several items that should have triggered the attention of local emergency planning authorities – most notably the sudden appearance of a large amount of ammonium nitrate in 2012.
    "As a former HAZMAT coordinator, that would have been a red flag for me," said Haywood, referring to hazardous materials.


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