Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Now Criminal Investigation, Paramedic Arrested
2013-05-10 0:00

By Patrik Jonsson | CSM

A first responder to the huge explosion last month at a Texas fertilizer plant was arrested Friday for possessing a pipe bomb – but officials aren’t linking his arrest to the deadly incident. The probe, however, is now a criminal matter, they said.

The arrest Friday of a first responder to the deadly April 17 fertilizer plant blast in West, Texas, on explosives charges, is a new wrinkle that may call into question whether the incident that killed 14 people – including 12 firefighters and paramedics – was in fact a tragic industrial accident, as most people in the area believed.

Texas authorities arrested Bryce Reed, a paramedic with West Emergency Medical Services, at 2 a.m. Friday and have since charged him with possession of a pipe bomb. Mr. Reed was among those who responded first to the fertilizer plant explosion and served for a time as incident commander at the site. He was also shown giving a taped eulogy for explosion victim Cyrus Reed at an April 25 memorial in Waco, Texas, attended by President Obama.

Police have neither confirmed nor denied that Reed’s arrest is tied to the plant explosion. However, authorities said Friday that the Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department have launched a new criminal probe into the incident, with Texas Department of Public Safety chief Stephen McCraw pledging that the state will “leave no stone unturned.”

“Keep an eye on this story, perhaps especially on the federal involvement,” writes Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey. “Until now, no one had intimated that this might be a deliberate act.”

On May 1, officials told a Texas House committee that they had interviewed 300 people and followed 160 leads during the investigation into what happened on the night of April 17. At that hearing, Assistant State Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner said the investigation should be complete by May 10 and that the chance remained that the cause would be classified as “unknown.”

On Monday, investigators said they had ruled out weather and natural phenomena as causes of the blast, which happened about 20 minutes after a fire began tearing through a fertilizer and seed building on the property.

The Reed arrest and revelations of a new criminal probe raise questions about criminal mischief, even terrorism, given that the blast occurred two days after two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring at least 260 others. In the West explosion, which registered 2.1 on the Richter scale, nearly 200 people were injured, and a nursing home, school, and dozens of houses were destroyed or damaged.


Read the full article at: news.yahoo.com

The Associated Press reported that Bryce Reed, a Texas paramedic who helped evacuate people on the night of the explosion in West has now been charged with possessing bomb-making materials including a pipe and chemicals.

His arrest has not been officially connected to the West fertiliser plant disaster.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said in a statement: “This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered."

The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office was called earlier this week to a home near West where they found a pipe, a variety of chemicals and fuses.

They say the objects belonged to Reed, who didn’t enter a plea when he appeared in court Friday. Source

Related Articles
West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion - New Footage (Meteorite Strike?)
"Like a nuclear blast": Texas plant explosion registered as 2.1 earthquake

Latest News from our Front Page

Is the countryside racist? Villages 'that want to remain white and middle class'
2015-11-24 20:31
Country dwellers believe rural communities should be the preserve of white middle-class families with conservative values, a survey claims. Many residents of countryside towns and villages consider them the 'last bastion' of old-fashioned English traditions. And they often equate this 'exclusively and unthinkingly' with white Englishness, a study has found. White gate: Are countryside villages, such as The Lee, in Buckinghamshire, racist for ...
More than 30 "White Student Union" pages created on Facebook in last week
2015-11-24 2:37
More than 30 “White Student Union” pages have recently sprung up over the last several days on Facebook, pages that affiliate themselves with various universities around the nation The creation of an “Illini White Student Union” Facebook page that surfaced Nov. 18 in response to a “Black Student Solidarity Rally” at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign gained national attention, but ...
Pew: White Christians no longer a majority
2015-11-24 1:56
A woman prays at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles during "A Night of Hope," an event hosted by Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen. | AP Photo White Christians now make up less than half of the U.S. population, largely receding from the majorities of most demographic groups, with one notable exception: the Republican Party. According to the latest results from Pew Research ...
Cinemas refuse to show Church of England advert featuring Lord's Prayer
2015-11-23 23:52
The UK’s three leading cinema chains have refused to show an advert by the Church of England that features the Lord’s Prayer, citing fears that it could offend people. Vociferous critic of religion says anyone thin-skinned enough to be offended by church advert deserves to be offended The 60-second advert was due to be shown before Star Wars: the Force Awakens, released ...
Free Ottawa yoga class scrapped over "cultural issues"
2015-11-23 23:24
Jennifer Scharf is a yoga instructor who had delivered a free class to students at the University of Ottawa for the past seven years that was cancelled this year due to a complaint that yoga constitutes "cultural appropriation." Errol McGihon/Ottawa SunStudent leaders have pulled the mat out from 60 University of Ottawa students, ending a free on-campus yoga class over ...
More News »