Unexpected twists in case of deadly blast at Texas fertilizer plant

Bryce Reed, a paramedic in West, Texas, is shown in a McClennan County Sheriff's Office booking photo taken on May 10, 2013. McClennan County Sheriff's Office/Handout via ReutersYahoo News

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 theTexas 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.

Until now, Texas lawmakers had focused chiefly on pinpointing any holes in the state’s regulatory framework for small fertilizer plants that store large amounts of potentially volatile chemicals, such as anhydrous ammonia or ammonium nitrate. The latter is the substance that exploded in West and that Timothy McVeigh used to detonate a massive bomb in Oklahoma City in 1996.

The Monitor reported last week that the plant had been a frequent target of thieves, posited to be using anhydrous ammonia as part of the cooking process for homemade methamphetamine. But reports of those thefts had led to few state demands for tighter security at the plant, which lacked even a perimeter fence.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Friday that residents “must have confidence that this incident has been looked at from every angle and professionally handled. They deserve nothing less.”




24 thoughts on “Unexpected twists in case of deadly blast at Texas fertilizer plant

  1. Never let a good crisis go to waste. Our government is absolutely pathetic. It took them long enough to find something or someone so they can add in and invoke the old “bomb-making material” excuse to the incident. They must be running low on ideas and scapegoats these days.

    1. In “normal” times I wouldn’t give this Mich thought. These days, when something like this or Boston happens, my first thought is false flag. They’re coming hard and fast now folks. BTW, Timothy McVeigh didn’t do Oklahoma City, the feds did. They have an agenda…and its not about protecting us. It’s about subjugation.

    2. are you “Jewish” ?

      are you able to produce any evidence that the Synagogue of Satan Psychophants are really …”our” Government and not actually a criminally insane psycopathetic terrorist CABAL of Mass Murderers who print currency & own the Media and operate a “Jewish” so-called State ? ?

      so what, – http://www.l-3com.com/careers/diversity.html

      this guy delivered a Pipe bomb with a Drone ?


      ROFL….white males are a meme…Domestic “Terrorists”, and further..does anyone have any real evidence of Timmy “PATSY” McVeigh putting any explosives IN the Murrah building ?


      or more importantly…. the secret Al Quida PANCAKE RECIPE that makes buildings constructed of steel & Concrete turn into dust in Midair…seriously ?

  2. So, nothing on that supersonic sound coming in from the left of that on scene video, with a streak and then a BIG KAH – F*C*ING – BOOM, with the flames coming from the left side, I guess that isn’t of interest or the helicopter nearby, or the fact that the story of lightening didn’t prove out, no storms or lightening in the area. And the fact they needed a story to take the attention off Boston, while they figured out the next series of lies to be told on that story.

    Too bad all those Texans, and early responders had to die, but after all we must all die at some point. And they died for a good cause, National Security, or better yet the true planners of these events security.

    They must have been saying:

    OH F*CK we need something, a new twist, …. wait, here’s somebody. Great. A fuc*ing pipe bomb, yeah, that could work, what the f*ck will the public know or be able to figure out, with all this overwhelming shit we’re dumping on them daily.

  3. Americans are cowards, I say that because they won’t stand up for them selves of face the truth that their government is the third reich reborn, nor face the truth that the only terrorists in this world is their government. Ok city, 911, sandy hook, boston bombing all reel of false flag.
    We have the Same puppets here but they won’t last long. We will take up arms to defend our liberty

  4. 800 bases in 140 countries, no wonder everyone hates you.
    The demise of America will Make the rest of the world very happy.
    If only the crooks running the show would go down with it but they will jump ship before that happens.

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijMDXQFnnM0
    Due to the events in West, Texas last night, North Hills Hospital and the NCTTRAC have chosen to cancel today’s emergency preparedness drill. Many of the same resources planned for the drill have already deployed to West to help care for the victims down there. http://northhillshospital.wordpress.c… end of update… This citizen journalist on 04/16/2013 out of curiosity recorded the video asking the question, what are these fema type trucks doing here, thats all these videos are just documentation thats all, the next day when the explosion occurs he live streams the event for the world to see…these are just documentations with no other conclusions, just documentations… his original posts and other recordings are linked here… http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/31556057 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/31559283

  6. No amount of fertilizer by itself makes a detonatable explosive, or even a strong deflagrant like gunpowder. Why isn’t anyone questioning this bit? The stuff just doesn’t burn or explode…by itself!

    Even mixed up ANFO is extremely insensitive, even if it’s on fire. It requires a detonator, something that would never be found at any normal fertilizer plant. Making explosives from fertilizer is a laborious process which does not occur naturally or by accident.

    So how did it happen?

    1. Well Joe, just think of all of the meth being made comeing out of mexico and texas, eh. From where I am from people make a lot of meth out of anhydrous ammonia. In fact people will buy a 5 gallon bucket for a lot of money to make meth, LOL. Yea, I can see were somebody that was working at that fertilizer plant was making meth and had a F up and the whole damned plant blew up. All it takes is two ingredients along with the ephedrine buddy, real simple to have a explosion. What better place to operate a large scale meth lab than at a amhydrous plant. Anhydrous is one of the indredients that is hard to get – at least where I am from from what I am told anyway. People are always stealing it from farmers fields, especially this time of year and the feds always have fake anhydrous tanks out there to bust people.

      1. Meth labs blow up (burn well, actually, not detonate) because of acetone or ether vapors being unintentionally concentrated to dangerous mixtures with air, by idiot meth cooks.

        The fire at West had been burning for quite some time, long enough for firefighters to arrive, before the huge explosion. This would be the world’s first case of a “meth lab” waiting to explode until after the firemen arrived.

        It doesn’t fit the profile of a meth lab explosion, and the ones who use ephedrine and solvents are small-time tiny backroom operations. Real industrial chemist meth cooks don’t do ephedrine pill backyard solvent extraction games. Not cost-effective.

        I really don’t think it was a meth-lab. Doesn’t fit.

        A farm that legitimately uses anhydrous ammonia would probably be a better place for an illegal meth operation, as they are under less DEA scrutiny than anhydrous dealers.

        1. Oh man Joe I can tell that you do not live anywhere close to where I live buddy. LOL.. I know differently. I have been around and have seen meth labs and how they blow up and you don`t know sh*t pal. I do not associate anymore with those people but I do know a few that are doing multiple life sentences for this very thing so don`t talk sh*t like that cause I do know different. Unless things have changed in the last 7 or 8 yr.s but I hardly doubt it because we still hear about people stealing anhydrous all the time this time of year. In fact there was a major meth lab that was busted about a yr or so ago that was in a cement factory and another at a place that a employee was stealing anhydrous from there referigeration tanks. Yep talk sh*t, Joe, but here in the country we know different, and that is why I stay to myself but a lot of people want to party with me but like I said – I stay to myself, as I learned the hard way and I do not do SH*T no more as they call it.:) By the way, you don`t ever want to be callin` a farmer a possible meth lab around here where I live with out makeing some real bad enemies pal. Even the cops around here do not even think or talk that way.

          1. Can you tell me which thing I mentioned is not true, and where it is that meth cooks buy anhydrous ammonia in buckets? NJ? RI? NY? MA?

            I’m not gonna accuse you of talking shit and then try to bluster and cover by being vague about exactly what it was that you said that wasn’t true, so out of respect, buddy, don’t do that to me and expect to retain credibility without some facts. Please be specific, pal, what did I say that wasn’t true?

            Oh, and wherabouts is it that ephedrine-style meth cooks get multiple life sentences just for being cooks? Or did they kill some cops, too?

          2. 🙂 like I said I`m done with ya Joe. Oh yea, ya want to sell anhydrous in 5 gal. buckets ya can do it up in the St. Paul Mpls. area if ya got the balls to do it and I was offered big bucks for it but, like I said, no I would rather live a humble life. Maybe I might try a good toke once or twice every now and then but I haven`t in the last yr. or so and by the way I have already have been asked quite a few times this year already and refused. They ya go checvk out the cities ok. YepAnhydrous will make some top of the line meth and it doesn““t take very long andf it is not like you say, by the way get your lithium bateries OK pal. Like I said I`m done with ya, I said too much already. Bye Bye joe!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL Sucker

      2. LOL indeed. Anybody selling anhydrous ammonia in 5 gallon buckets would be wise to get the money first, before filling the bucket, and then drive away quickly, as the general vicinity will quickly become an uninhabitable hazmat zone when the stuff with a room-temperature vapor pressure of ~100psi quickly boils away leaving nothing but a cloud of mildly toxic corrosive stink and lots of angry 911-dialling neighbors.

        Anybody proposing to sell anhydrous ammonia in buckets is simply lying or a moron. It doesn’t work at all.

        Perhaps where you are from, the word “bucket” means “professionally certified pressure-vessel”.

        1. Shows what you know bud, LOL. Like I said apparently you don`t know sh*t. I have been around for a long time and have lived my life around drug dealers, hard core bikers, and manufactures and that is why I stay to myself the last half of my life. Yep most of them old bad boys still like and respect me but they also understand me too and would do mostly anything for me as I did time for them guys for exactly what you are makeing out like you know what you are talking about and that is why Inow you don`t know sh*t Joey so F*CK YOU PUNK, You don`t know crap on this sub. I am not wasting my tine on a weasle like you. Go play with some one else.

          1. Diggerdan, you only seem to want to insult and bluster. You don’t want to discuss facts, only swear and fight. Why?

            Educate me, please. Tell me what I said that wasn’t correct? Why must you run from a respectful, honest opinion and questions? Buddy, I haven’t called you a single name. Why so aggressive?

          2. Because I take it personal when people start talkin` that drug counselor crap. I did a long time in rehab and even longer in prison for my brothers that were busted and are right now doing 3 life sentences for meth and yes some people did die and the ones that did it never were even arrested. Yep My friends and brothers will die for each other. The guilty ones are still on the streets and us guys that were convicted protected them and we will never give them up. We are not bought off one bit and we know what is right. WE ARE AMERICANS DAMMIT! If I sound arrogant then GD right I am arrogant because the american govt. ruins peoples lives every day – and I am one that they did ruin – and people just sit back and leave it happen untill it happens in their own back yard, yep Joe that is why I am a arrogant c*ck s*cker, but still a nice guy considering how I grew up with the BS that the govt. does to the people.

  7. Is there a “new normal” meme being sold to the masses now that after a hundred odd years of being fairly chemically inert, that ammonium nitrate BY ITSELF has suddenly morphed into something as unstable as TATP, nitroglycerine, or HMDT?

    There are millions of tons of the stuff sitting around worldwide. It’s inert. It just sits there. Oh, and it gets cold if you get it wet. That’s about it.

    And anhydrous ammonia is not classed as a flammable substance. You could almost use it to put fires OUT ( displaces oxygen) if the alkaline burning and smell weren’t a problem.

    1. Yep Joe, around here where I live you have to be certified to apply it and to work with it as you might as well call it a controlled substance if it isn`t already called a controlled substance.

      1. Sure, it’s controlled, never said otherwise, but that wasn’t my point. My point is that AN does nothing by itself. I have smothered fires with it. It’s not explosive at all, alone. Not even flammable.

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