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Texas launches criminal probe into Waco blast

Officials first believed deadly explosion at fertiliser plant last month was an industrial accident.

Last Modified: 10 May 2013 20:09
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West Fertiliser Co plant blew up on the night of April 17 after fire erupted at the facility [Reuters]

Texas law enforcement officials have launched a criminal investigation into a massive fertilizer plant explosion that killed
14 people and injured about 200 others last month, after weeks of largely treating the blast as an industrial accident.

The announcement on Friday came the same day that a paramedic who helped to evacuate residents the night of the explosion was arrested on a charge of possessing bomb-making materials, including a pipe and chemicals.

It is not clear whether the charge is related to the April 17 blast at West Fertilizer Co.

The man arrested was Bryce Reed, said Franceska Perot, a spokeswoman for the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement on Friday that the agency has instructed the Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff's Department to launch a criminal probe into the explosion.

DPS Director Steven McCraw says in a statement he wants to ensure "no stone goes unturned" in the investigation.

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