Texas opens criminal investigation into deadly fertilizer plant blast

WACO, Texas — Texas law enforcement officials launched a criminal investigation Friday into the massive fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people last month, after weeks of largely treating the blast as an industrial accident.

The announcement came the same day federal agents said they found bomb-making materials belonging to a paramedic who helped evacuate residents the night of the explosion. Bryce Reed was arrested early Friday on a charge of possessing a destructive device, but authorities said they had not linked the charge to the April 17 fire and blast at West Fertilizer Co.

"It is important to emphasize that at this point, no evidence has been uncovered to indicate any connection to the events surrounding the fire and subsequent explosion ... and the arrest of Bryce Reed by the ATF," the McLennan County Sheriff's office said in a statement.

The statement did not detail any further reasons for the criminal investigation and said no additional information would be released.

Texas opens criminal investigation into deadly fertilizer plant blast 05/10/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 11:30pm]

    

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