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Last updated at 15:16 BST, Friday, 19 April 2013

Texas blast investigation


19 April 2013

The authorities in the town of West in Texas are continuing to investigate what caused the blast at a fertiliser factory, which is now known to have killed 14 people and injured dozens more. The area surrounding the plant is still sealed off by police.


Alastair Leithead

Texas explosion

Rescue workers search through the remains of an apartment building after the explosion.


Click to hear the report


With the search and rescue operation now winding down, the authorities in West are focussing on ensuring there are no hazardous chemicals remaining on the site, which could be a threat to the public.

They are also trying to establish exactly what caused the fire and the explosion that followed it. There is little left of the factory or dozens of houses that bore the brunt of the blast.

Police are expected to start allowing residents back into the restricted area in the next 24 hours so people can see what's left of their homes and possessions.


Click here to hear the vocabulary


search and rescue operation

procedure to find and save people from a disaster

winding down

slowly stopping


making sure

hazardous chemicals

dangerous materials


possible or likely danger

to establish

to find and prove


groups of 12 (used here to mean lots)

bore the brunt

felt the most force