By JG Vibes
May 11, 2013
The State Fire Marshal’s Office continues to push back their deadline for establishing what caused the recent explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas. Initially this was reported as an accident, but investigators are having a difficult time confirming that in their research.
Investigators do know the fire was in the fertilizer and seed building and ammonium nitrate did detonate. However, how the explosion was initiated is still unknown.
The following causes for the initial fire have been eliminated:
Weather or natural causes, anhydrous ammonium, railcars containing ammonium nitrate, and a fire within the ammonium nitrate bin.
The announcement that a criminal investigation will be opened up came just hours after a local EMT named Bryce Reed who worked at the plant was arrested for allegedly giving bomb making materials to a neighbor. Police will not confirm that this arrest is in relation to the blast, but it is interesting to note that he was fired from the plant without explanation just two days after the explosion.
Hours after his arrest, the Texas Rangers and McLennan County Sheriff’s office launched a criminal investigation into the plant explosion but did not say what role, if any, the federal charges against Reed played in their decision.
Also on Friday, West officials for the first time notified the state agency that licenses paramedics that Reed was let go two days after the blast, according to records obtained by The News. The emails do not explain his termination.
Dr. George Smith, medical director of West EMS, declined to comment late Friday afternoon as to why Reed was let go last month. West Police Chief James Lawhorn also declined to comment about the situation.
Authorities found a 3.5-inch long galvanized metal pipe with a 1.5-inch diameter that had galvanized end caps. There was also a lighter and several pounds of chemical powders in individual bags, special ATF agent Douglas J. Kunze wrote in his affidavit. A U.S. Justice Department press release said Reed gave the component to the Abbott resident on April 26.
Reed was charged Friday with possession of a destructive device. He faces 10 years in prison. Reed made an initial appearance in federal court in Waco on Friday but did not enter a plea.
According to an affidavit from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, someone who lives in Abbott called the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday about a “possible destructive device” that they had “unwittingly taken possession of” from Reed.
Also interesting about this case is that although Reed was originally arrested by local police, he was then turned over to US Marshals and details of his warrant have been frozen.
So far no details have been released with the exception of this affidavit (Read The Affidavit) which discusses some of the charges against him.
As of right now there are conflicting reports coming from local people and media sources. Some neighbors have favorable opinions of Reed, while others do not. There are some that feel he is being silenced for asking too many questions, while others feel that he is a potential suspect in the explosion. Regardless it will be interesting to see what kind of hard evidence they have if any, that he did in fact posses bomb building materials.
As we reported last month Intellihub Reporter Matthew Short noticed an increased emergency military presence in Waco, Texas on April 16, thinking on his toes following a recent terror attack, he and a friend took time verified video and photographs of armored response vehicles. Additionally, he rushed towards the blast when it occurred the next day and was able to discuss emergency response drills with a local hospital representative, before surveying the damage.
In the coming weeks we will be bringing more updates on this story, including the drills, military activity in the area and the Monsanto connection.
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J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter-culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer, reporter for dev-test.intellihub.com and Executive Producer of the Bob Tuskin Radio Show. You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com
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