West, TX (PRWEB) April 24, 2013
Representatives of Houston law firm Ben Bronston & Associates traveled to West, Texas last week to volunteer in aiding the victims of the West Fertilizer Company explosion. The volunteers witnessed the extraordinary spirit of the town's residents, but also some disturbing potential negligence on the part of the West Fertilizer Company, said Ben Bronston, Texas personal injury lawyer.
"Our hearts and prayers are with the community of West, Texas," Bronston said. "We have seen first-hand the impact of the April 17, 2013 explosion at the West Fertilizer Company plant on family, friends and neighbors."
Members of Ben Bronston & Associates reached out to volunteer, not as attorneys but as helping hands, Bronston said. The volunteers handed out food, blankets and lent a sympathetic ear.
"The people we encountered are amazing," Bronston said. "One of them is a 10-year-old boy who went into a heavily damaged nursing home with his mother to help the residents evacuate safely. He bravely explained the horrific scene he encountered with so many injured people around him. When asked if he was scared, he replied 'A little, but I had to help the people that were bleeding.'"
The people of West deserve to know why the explosion happened, Bronston said.
"By all accounts the owner of the West Fertilizer Company, Donald Adair, seems to be a fixture of this small Texas community, and everyone understands that he too has been affected," said Bronston. "As such, he has an obligation to his beloved community to find out what happened and make sure that everyone affected, including those who lost loved ones and those who were injured or sustained property losses, receives the help they need. Moreover, the victims of this small, close-knit community deserve to know why this happened. And, while they can never be made whole, they certainly have a right to be compensated for their losses."
"We take no pleasure in the fact that people have lost lives, experienced severe injuries, sustained damage to their property and suffered mental anguish," Bronston continued. "However, the people of West should be made aware that they have a right to make a claim without feeling like they are ‘a lawsuit happy community.’ The legal system in this country is not perfect but it is the best in the world and the people of West should not be afraid to use it after a terrible tragedy like last week’s explosion. Our firm’s first step will be to investigate the West Fertilizer Company, including an examination of the trademarked manufactured products stored in the facility to see if there were any defects or unsafe conditions. Also of great importance is an investigation into the railroad that delivers the tankers with the ammonium nitrate and other potentially dangerous materials."
Authorities have not yet issued a final determination regarding the cause of the blast. At this point, fire safety experts suspect that a fire ignited the ammonium nitrate pellets stored on-site and that in turn may have caused the pressurized canisters containing another ammonia substance to expand and explode outward with tremendous force (Los Angeles Times, "Texas explosion: Ammonia or ammonium nitrate suspected," April 18, 2013).
"Disturbingly, the West Fertilizer Company filed an emergency response plan with the EPA stating there was 'no' risk of fire or explosion at the facility," Bronston said. "Unfortunately for the town of West, the company was tragically wrong."
Fertilizer has long been recognized as a dangerous combustible material. Ammonium nitrate caused the deadliest industrial accident in American history, the explosion of a ship at the port of Texas City in 1947, which took the lives of over 500 people. This material has also been used as the explosive component in munitions and bombs, most notably in the tragic 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
"The people of West should demand to know whether or not the West Fertilizer Company had been operating safely within the law," Bronston said. "It is too soon to know for sure but the public deserves a complete explanation as soon as possible. As West, Texas cleans up, injured people are treated, and families grieve their losses, authorities and affected citizens must act to hold those responsible accountable for this terrible tragedy."
Anyone affected by the April 17, 2013 explosion at the West Fertilizer Company plant who has questions about their legal rights may contact the lawyers at Ben Bronston & Associates at 800-617-4BEN (800-617-4236) or email the attorneys at info(at)bronstonlegal(dot)com.
Ben Bronston is a Texas plant explosion lawyer. His law firm, Ben Bronston & Associates, is ready and available to assist victims of the West Fertilizer Company disaster.