22 April 2013

With so much focus, understandably, on Boston, the poor folks in West, Texas, who saw their town flattened by a fertilizer plant explosion have gotten lost in the news cycle.

And when I have seen news about it, it’s been the kind that is absolutely infuriating, like that the fertilizer plant stored 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate than it was allowed to without telling the Department of Homeland Security. Of course, why should the plant owner alert the DHS when the chances of a spot inspection that would discover the fineable oversight are negligible? We see this kind of corporate negligence over and over and nothing changes. 

Who knows if this could have been prevented, but there are 14 lives gone and hundreds others’ in pieces. 

Students returned to school today but it will be years before the town is restored. As one minister said in an AP story, it’s like they’re living in a “science fiction movie.”

United Way of Tarrant County is helping the victims of the West explosion in their recovery efforts. As unfortunately happens during disasters, a number of other organizations have cropped up to help, but some of them are scams. United Way of Tarrant County is the sure thing, with a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

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