Texas officials to launch criminal investigation into plant explosion

AUSTIN, Texas Fri May 10, 2013 11:52am EDT

An aerial view shows the aftermath of a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, near Waco, Texas April 18, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

An aerial view shows the aftermath of a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, near Waco, Texas April 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Adrees Latif

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AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas officials are launching a criminal investigation into the fertilizer plant explosion last month in West, Texas, the state Department of Public Safety said Friday.

DPS Director Steven McCraw directed the Texas Rangers to join McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara in the investigation, according to a statement from DPS.

The April 17 fire and blast at West Fertilizer Co killed 14 people dead and injured about 200 others.

(Reporting By Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Scott Malone)

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