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Massive Demolition Of Blast-Damaged Homes In West

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166874173 Massive Demolition Of Blast Damaged Homes In WestExplosion Details

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The remains of an apartment complex next to the fertilizer plant that exploded on April 18, 2013 in West, Texas. According to West Mayor Tommy Muska, around 14 people were killed and more than 200 people were injured. (credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

The remains of an apartment complex next to the fertilizer plant that exploded on April 18, 2013 in West, Texas. According to West Mayor Tommy Muska, around 14 people were killed and more than 200 people were injured. (credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

WEST (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Work crews funded by a church are beginning an effort to knock down 50 unlivable homes in West, where a fertilizer plant explosion devastated the town.

The First Baptist Church of West has committed $200,000 to demolition efforts. Crews had cleared the foundation on two homes Wednesday and were planning to start a third.

More than a month after the deadly explosion at West Fertilizer Co., many of the homes damaged in the blast remain standing. Associate Pastor Phil Immicke says that as he talked to people affected, the need for help with demolition became apparent.

Immicke says the recovery effort is progressing slowly.

Fifteen people died in the blast, including 12 trying to fight an initial fire. The blast was actually two explosions: a small one that occurred about 20 minutes after the fire was reported, followed by a larger one a split second later. About 28 to 34 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the plant exploded.

The April 17 blast leveled part of the tiny town north of Waco. After the blast victims learned the West Fertilizer Company only had $1 million worth of insurnce coverage. At last estimate, damage from the blast is expected to top $100 million.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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