DA sees no link so far between weapons possession, Texas blast

Story highlights

  • So far, no links have been made between the charge and the accident
  • The powerful fire and blast occurred in April
  • A DA says the Texas Rangers performed a "thorough investigation"

Authorities in Texas have so far found no link between a deadly fertilizer plant explosion last spring and a charge of possession of a prohibited weapon filed against a paramedic who responded to that blast.

A fire at West Fertilizer Company on April 17 led to the ammonium nitrate explosion, which killed 15 people -- most of them firefighters and paramedics -- and devastated West, a small town south of Dallas.

The blast showed up on seismographs as a small earthquake and flattened or damaged dozens of homes, two schools and a nursing home nearby.

Texas fertilizer plant fell through 'patchwork' of safety rules

Later, Bryce Reed, who was one of the emergency workers who responded to the explosion, was charged with having possessed materials for a pipe bomb.

"Based on the information I have reviewed thus far," Abel Reyna, McLennan County criminal district attorney said in a statement Tuesday, "I have not seen any credible evidence linking Bryce Reed's alleged possession of a prohibited weapon to the fire and subsequent explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant."

Reyna said the Texas Rangers performed a "thorough investigation regarding Mr. Reed's alleged possession of a prohibited weapon" and passed along reports and material to him.

"However, I still have additional material to review," he said.

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