New Report Details Injuries From West Explosion

WEST (June 24, 2014) More than 250 people were injured in the deadly April 17, 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West and others suffered injuries indirectly related to the explosion, according to a study by the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The team that prepared the report reviewed 654 patient records at 11 hospitals and three urgent care facilities and determined that 252 people had non-lethal injuries resulting from the explosion and that another 10 had injuries indirectly related to the explosion.

More than half of the 252 injured survivors had abrasions or contusions, 21 percent had traumatic brain injuries or concussions, 14 percent had tinnitus or hearing problems, 12 percent had inhalational injuries, 11 percent had sprains or strains and eight percent had fractures or dislocations.

Blast injuries were found in 5 percent of the survivors and 2 percent of the survivors had burns.

Those who suffered injuries indirectly related to the explosion had a range of injuries including abrasions, contusions, lacerations, penetrating wounds, sprains, and inhalational injuries.

Fifty-five percent of the injured survivors were inside buildings at the time of the explosion, 13 percent were outside and 8 percent were in vehicles.

The explosion claimed the lives of 12 first responders and three residents who suffered fractures, blunt force trauma or blast force injuries, the report said.

The study was launched “to better understand the types of injuries that can occur from an explosion of this magnitude,” officials said.

The report also includes recommendations for the public, the medical community and public health organizations on how best to respond to a similar catastrophe, officials said.

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