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West Explosion Takes Center Stage In Austin

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AUSTIN (AP) - The deadly explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant is the focus of a special hearing at the Texas Legislature.

State lawmakers on Wednesday are expected to press investigators and regulators for answers about the blast and the risks at similar facilities in Texas. Fourteen people were killed and 200 were injured when the plant exploded two weeks ago in rural farming town of West.

The state fire marshal is leading the investigation. That office is scheduled to testify to the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee along with officials from seven other agencies.

Gov. Rick Perry has said that spending more state money on inspections would not have prevented the blast. State environmental regulators had last visited the fertilizer plant in 2006.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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