Fertilizer plant explosion levels several blocks of small Texas town

Government Shutdown Delays West Explosion Investigation

Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013  |  Updated 5:23 AM CDT
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Government Shutdown Delays West Explosion Investigation

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A Valley Mills Fire Department personnel walks among the remains of an apartment complex next to the fertilizer plant that exploded yesterday afternoon on April 18, 2013 in West, Texas. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

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The partial government shutdown is causing delays in the federal investigation of the fertilizer plant explosion in West.

Sen. Barbara Boxer of California tells The Dallas Morning News that agencies reviewing the April 17 blast that killed 15 people can't meet while the government doesn't have a budget.

Agencies are to submit initial proposals by Nov. 1, according to a presidential executive order.

Boxer says those proposals will "definitely be delayed."

Boxer is a Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. She says her committee was working with the Environmental Protection Agency on proposals for ammonium nitrate, the fertilizer that detonated in the blast.

The Chemical Safety Board, which investigates industrial accidents, has furloughed all but four of its 41 employees.


West Fertilizer Plant Explosion
Complete coverage of a massive fertilizer plant explosion that leveled blocks of the small Texas town of West, TX. Click here for more.

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