The Tragety in West

By: Kirsten Massaviol

A brief overview...

Three firefighters responded to a call at 7:29 p.m. Wednesday about a fire at the West Fertilizer company. They saw how serious the situation was and began evacuating people from the area. Twenty minutes later, an explosion with the power of an earthquake shook the ground. A five block area around the plant was destroyed. Around 75 homes, a middle school and a nursing home where residents, some in wheelchairs, were trapped in rubble and soon evacuated.

West, Texas

What happened to the citizens of West?

Some victims that remained in West for a certain amount of time had suffered with lung problems. The ammonia, used to make fertilizer, is extremely bad for your health, if exposed for a prolonged period of time. Other victims that were moderately injured were hurt by flying glass and debris.

What about the food and water?

Once the explosion had gone off, people were quickly evacuated to different cities, such as Dallas and Waco, making food and water accessible to the victims who were still alive and in a stable condition.

How was the ecosystem affected?

Abiotic factors

One of the main abiotic factors affected was the air. The toxic chemicals spread throughout the air, making it extremely dangerous to breathe. Another factor would be the nearby creeks and ponds. The debris from the explosion most likely had chemicals polluting the water.

Biotic factors

Once the water had been polluted the fish and other aquatic animals started dying off. The land animals that weren’t killed by the blast, within a certain area, died from breathing in the toxic fumes from the blast.

What happened to their energy sources?

Since most homes and businesses within a huge area had been destroyed, electricity was not accessible, along with most other power sources.
Fertilizer Plant Explosion - All 3 Angles