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

Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 9:38am

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.

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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