For Immediate Release
ATF Announces $50,000 Reward in West, Texas Fatality Fire
HOUSTON – The Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the fire and subsequent explosion that took the lives of 15 people at the West Fertilizer Plant in West, Texas.
On April 17, 2013, at approximately 7:29 p.m., a fire was reported at the West Fertilizer facility in West, Texas. Approximately 22 minutes later a large explosion occurred, causing 15 deaths (12 of whom were first responders), injuring 300 people, destroying more than 500 homes, and leaving a crater 93 feet wide and 12 feet deep in its wake.
After more than 400 interviews, a systematic fire-scene examination, the review of witness photos, videos and observations, as well as extensive scientific testing at the ATF Fire Research Lab in Beltsville, Maryland, the fire has been ruled “incendiary,” or intentionally set. All viable accidental and natural fire scenarios were hypothesized, tested, and eliminated.
ATF, along with the SFMO, Texas Rangers, McLennan County District Attorney’s Office, and numerous other agencies are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person or persons responsible for this tragedy. Those with information should contact Waco Crime Stoppers at 254-753-HELP (4357) or online at www.wacocrimestoppers.org
More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.