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Officials In West Considering Building New Fertilizer Plant

Site where an apartment complex once sat in West, Texas. Most of the complex, which was near the West Fertilizer Co. plant, was completely destroyed in the April 17, 2013 blast. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Site where an apartment complex once sat in West, Texas. Most of the complex, which was near the West Fertilizer Co. plant, was completely destroyed in the April 17, 2013 blast. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

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WEST (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — As the state remembers West, Texas on the one-year anniversary of a deadly explosion, the mayor in the town acknowledged that local officials are considering building a new fertilizer plant.

The April 17, 2013 blast killed 15 people, injured some 200 others and completely destroyed more than 100 homes.

West Mayor Tommy Muska acknowledged Thursday that the rebuilding idea is highly controversial among local residents. But he notes that his central Texas town’s economy revolved around the West Fertilizer Co. before the facility was leveled by a fire and explosion a year ago.

He also says that “unfortunately or fortunately” more people outside the region are now aware of the town, which has brought some economic opportunity. Muska says he is negotiating with a flag manufacturer and a recycling company to set up operations in West.

The explosion, for which a cause has never been definitely determined, also caved in homes and schools, and damaged roads. The blast left a 10-foot crater in the ground and debris was found miles away.

(©2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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