- FEMA Denies Aid To West For Explosion
- West Football Field Center Of Controversy
- West Explosion Victim Thanks Her Lifesavers
- ATF: West Explosion Cause Undetermined
- Crime Not Ruled Out In West Blast: Sources
- Willie Nelson Gives $120K For Explosion Relief
- Texas Firefighters Focused Concern On Toxic Gases
- After West Disaster, Little Discussion On Soil Issues
- West Plant Explosion Cause Announced Today
- Paramedic Who Responded To West Blast Charged
- Email: West EMT Dismissed 2 Days After Blast
- State Criminal Investigation Of West Explosion Begins
- Hours Adjusted For West Disaster Recovery Center
- West Fertilizer Plant Targeted By Thieves In Past
- Lawmakers Want Answers In West Explosion
- West Explosion Takes Center Stage At state Capitol
- Smoke From West Plant To Be Part Of The Investigation
- Hundreds Seek Help After West Plant Explosion
- 100 West Residents Still Waiting To Enter Homes
- Relatives Honor West First Responders In Video
- President Obama To West, Texas: 'You're Not Alone'
- Fathers, Firefighters: Lives Lost In West, Texas
- Marathon Runner Witnesses Boston, Texas Disasters
- Westboro Church Plans To Protest West Funeral
- Students help West survivors
- President Obama Going To Service For West Explosion Victims
- School Underway In Tiny Texas Town Hit By Blast
- 4 More First Responders Killed In West Blast ID'd
- West Residents Back In Homes
- Federal Lawmakers Inspect Scene Of Blast In West
- 12 Dead, 200 Injured In West Explosion
- Search On For Those Missing In West
- West Pulling Together As A Community
- How To Help: West, Texas Emergency Resources
- West Man A Humble Hero
- West's Worse Fear Comes True
- Texas Mobilizes To Help West
- West Residents Face Death, Destruction After Explosion
- Perry: Nightmare Scenario After West Explosion
- Federal Investigators To Probe West Plant Blast Cause
- West Fertilizer Plant Cited For '06 Permit Violation
- Pope Francis Tweets Prayers For Texas Explosion Victims
- Texas National Guard At Site Of West Plant Blast
- West Fertilizer Plant Cited in 2006
- Texas Environmental Agency Monitoring West
- Statement From The President On Explosion In West
- West Explosion Kills Up To 15
- Another Deadly Texas Blast 66 Years Ago
- Willie Nelson Sends Prayer Tweet After West Blast
- Multiple Deaths Reported After Waco-Area Fertilizer Plant Explosion
- Some Firefighters Unaccounted For After West Blast
- Police: 5 To 15 People Killed In West Explosion
Lawmakers Want Answers In West Explosion
Updated: Wednesday, May 1 2013, 06:05 PM CDT
Two weeks ago today, the town of West was rocked by the fertilizer plant explosion. Now, as investigators continue to search for answers, eight Texas agencies were called to the State Capitol to begin the process of figuring out what happened, and preventing it from happening again.
Rep. Joe Pickett, Chairman of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, presided over the hearing.
He pressed representatives from the Department of Public Safety, the State Fire Marshall’s Office, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and other for answers. Pickett said people have a right to know if hazardous chemicals are in their community.
But current policy does not require that people be notified of potential threats in their area. It's what they called a "local-up approach" versus a "state-down approach".
As of today, investigators have conducted almost 300 interviews generated from over 160 leads, and they are sifting through 14.9 acres to reconstruct the plant from scratch.
State Fire Marshall Chris Connealy said they started at the outer perimeter and worked their way into the blast site where they are currently. More than 12,000 personnel hours have been carried out so far in the search for answers, and ATF will have invested a million dollars into the investigation by the time it is done.
So far, they have ruled out a rail car and anhydrous ammonia as the cause of the explosion, and they say they have no credible evidence to believe it is terrorism. But investigators will be operating under a state criminal search warrant until the investigation is complete. They hope to have an answer by May 10th.
By Hunter Ellis