Texas Rangers, Sheriff's Office Begin Criminal Probe Of West Blast

The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers have started a criminal investigation of the deadly April 17 fertilizer plant explosion in West, authorities announced Friday.

The April 17 explosion killed 15 and injured about 200. (File)

WEST (May 10, 2013)--The Texas Rangers will join the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office in a criminal investigation of the deadly April 17 explosion at West Fertilizer Co.

Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw directed the Rangers to join the probe Friday.

"This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered," McCraw said.

The explosion killed 15, injured about 200 and damaged or destroyed scores of homes and buildings including a nursing home, an apartment complex and three of West’s four schools.

State and federal investigators continue a painstaking excavation of the site of the blast.

Authorities say they've treated the site as a crime scene since the start of the investigation.

"The citizens of McLennan County and Texas must have confidence that this incident has been looked at from every angle and professionally handled - they deserve nothing less," McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said in the statement issued by the DPS Friday.

No further details were released.

(West: Information For Residents, Numbers To Call, Ways To Help)

(West: More Headlines And Information)

(City Of West Website)

(West’s Fallen)

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