West, TX sues fertilizer supplier after blast - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

West, TX sues fertilizer supplier after blast

(CNN) -- The Texas town devastated by an April fertilizer plant explosion is suing the company that supplied the plant with ammonium nitrate, arguing the supplier sold the volatile compound "blindly" to a firm that didn't handle it properly.

The city of West, Texas, accuses Adair Grain, which operated as the West Fertilizer Company, of negligently storing ammonium nitrate on its grounds before the April 17 blast. It also accused Illinois-based CF Industries of selling West Fertilizer about 200 tons of the compound without investigating whether the plant could store it safely.

"The CF Industries defendants, in the best position to know and understand the full nature of the dangers of the product manufactured by them, made no effort to determine the risk to the community into which their product was shipped," the lawsuit states. "Instead, they blindly sold hundreds of tons of hazardous ammonium nitrate to West Fertilizer Company and delivered it to a facility located within a community of people, houses, parks, schools and a nursing home."

The suit also argues that CF Industries provided outdated safety information to West Fertilizer and failed to include additives that would have prevented a detonation. It was filed the week after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied additional aid to the town, notifying Gov. Rick Perry's office that the state could handle the remaining reconstruction costs.

That decision was ripped by local and state officials who accused President Barack Obama of having "gone against his word."

In a statement on the lawsuit, CF Industries said it was "sympathetic to those whose lives were affected by this unfortunate incident" but believes there is "no basis for this suit." Adair Grain did not return a request for comment.

The explosion devastated West, a town of about 2,800 people south of Dallas. It leveled numerous homes and damaged two schools and a nursing home and could be felt 50 miles away.

After a month of investigation, fire marshals said they could not determine a cause. Investigators have opened a criminal probe, but no one has been charged.

  • Massive House Fire Caught on Video

    Massive House Fire Caught on Video

    An elderly woman manages to escape with her life following a massive house fire. It happened late Saturday night around 9 O'clock at a home on Island Drive in Lake City near Mathis. The woman has nothing left, but is safe thanks to a few alert neighbors. It was all caught on video. The fire lit the night sky near Lake Corpus Christi as it burned a two story home. Ray Krebs lives across the street and saw the flames and ran over to help a woman who was renting a back house on the property.Kre...More >>
    An elderly woman manages to escape with her life following a massive house fire. It happened late Saturday night around 9 O'clock at a home on Island Drive in Lake City near Mathis. The woman has nothing left, but is safe thanks to a few alert neighbors. It was all caught on video. The fire lit the night sky near Lake Corpus Christi as it burned a two story home. Ray Krebs lives across the street and saw the flames and ran over to help a woman who was renting a back house on the property.Kre...More >>
  • Barber Battle

    Barber Battle

    It's being called one of the biggest events of its kind. The 2nd annual Texas Barber Battle and Expo was held Sunday, bringing in people from all over the country to Corpus Christi...The event brought in people from just about everywhere. One person was even a guest barber from Alaska! The event, is said to have brought in over 1000 people! The barbers battled in 4 different styles, fastest fade, traditional, freestyle, and duplicate. Duplicate means they were given a sketch and had to remak...More >>
    It's being called one of the biggest events of its kind. The 2nd annual Texas Barber Battle and Expo was held Sunday, bringing in people from all over the country to Corpus Christi...The event brought in people from just about everywhere. One person was even a guest barber from Alaska! The event, is said to have brought in over 1000 people! The barbers battled in 4 different styles, fastest fade, traditional, freestyle, and duplicate. Duplicate means they were given a sketch and had to remak...More >>
  • 51 Year Old Man is Dead, 2 Others Rescued After a Boat Sinks in Copano Bay

    51 Year Old Man is Dead, 2 Others Rescued After a Boat Sinks in Copano Bay

    According to the US Coast Guard, a 51-year-old man is dead and two others are safe, a 14-year-old girl and 52-year-old man, after their boat sank Sunday morning in Copano Bay, just north of Rockport, Texas. The Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi Command Center received a distress call from a 24-foot center console boat taking on water at approximately 9:30 a.m. The three people donned life jackets and abandoned the boat, which sank shortly after the distress call was made. A Station Port Aran...More >>
    According to the US Coast Guard, a 51-year-old man is dead and two others are safe, a 14-year-old girl and 52-year-old man, after their boat sank Sunday morning in Copano Bay, just north of Rockport, Texas. The Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi Command Center received a distress call from a 24-foot center console boat taking on water at approximately 9:30 a.m. The three people donned life jackets and abandoned the boat, which sank shortly after the distress call was made. A Station Port Aran...More >>