Reporting Jason Allen
WEST (CBS 11) - The city of West has essentially shut down due to the number of memorials scheduled in the small community. Little more than a week after the tragedy, people are weary and still want to know what happened…
A 10-foot crater has replaced the spot, which used to be the concrete ground floor of West Fertilizer Co. Damaged fire trucks litter the scene where the plant exploded, killing 14 people and injuring more than 200. The focus of the investigation now is the fire.
“We’re trying to find out what caused the fire, to cause the explosion itself,” said Robert Champion with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
Investigators are still sifting through dirt at the site, shovel by shovel. Just outside of what is left of the plant, a playground is in pieces. Only the skeleton of an apartment building still stands. Clean up crews are clearing debris off of streets. They were able to repair one of two damaged water tanks, and water service could be up and running by Friday.
Anita Laffey with the American Red Cross has teamed up with other mental health counselors to help people in West.
“They don’t even have to have been in the disaster. If they live here, they were affected by the disaster,” said Laffey, who has visited home after home, helping family after family. She said people are concerned about their children and their homes; pushing their own feelings about the disaster aside for the moment.
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