Firefighters did not know blast risk in 2013 warehouse fire -U.S.

by Reuters
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:17 GMT

DALLAS, April 22 (Reuters) - Volunteer firefighters battling a deadly Texas warehouse blaze last year did not know the risks they faced from tons of fertilizer stored within, nor did they have clear standards for responding to the fire, federal safety investigators said on Tuesday.

At least 14 people were killed in the explosion of ammonium nitrate at the West, Texas, warehouse that also injured 236 people and leveled a neighborhood.

"West volunteer firefighters were not made aware of the explosion hazard from the ammonium nitrate stored at West Fertilizer, and were caught in harm's way when the blast occurred," the U.S. Chemical Safety Board said in preliminary findings released on Thursday. (Reporting by Erwin Seba, Editing by Franklin Paul)