Remembering the 2013 West fertilizer plant explosion, fire

FILE - This April 18, 2013 aerial file photo, shows the remains of a nursing home, left, apartment complex, center, and fertilizer plant, right, destroyed by an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Images of a massive explosion in the Lebanese capital looked depressingly familiar to West, Texas Mayor Tommy, whose small town in 2013 was partly leveled by one of the deadliest fertilizer plant explosions in U.S. history. "I don't know what people were thinking about storing that stuff," Muska said, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
FILE - This April 18, 2013 aerial file photo, shows the remains of a nursing home, left, apartment complex, center, and fertilizer plant, right, destroyed by an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Images of a massive explosion in the Lebanese capital looked depressingly familiar to West, Texas Mayor Tommy, whose small town in 2013 was partly leveled by one of the deadliest fertilizer plant explosions in U.S. history. "I don't know what people were thinking about storing that stuff," Muska said, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File) (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

HOUSTON – The fertilizer plant explosion and fire in West, Texas, happened on April 17, 2013, killing 15 people and causing hundreds of injuries among the rural area’s 2,800 people.

Here’s a look at NBC footage of the explosion from eyewitnesses.

So what happened? Here’s a look back at the explosion, as it happened with animations, from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

The explosion flattened the farming community, just north of Waco, turning some 500 homes into rubble as residents tried desperately to flee the horrific scene. More than 200 people were injured, NBC News reported.

The force felt was equivalent to that of a magnitude-2.1 earthquake, and a 93-foot-wide crater scarred the site of the fertilizer plant, where dangerous chemicals, including ammonium nitrate, were stored.

FILE - In this April 18, 2013 file photo, mangled debris of the West Fertilizer Co. plant is seen, a day after an explosion leveled the plant in West, Texas. Images of a massive explosion in the Lebanese capital looked depressingly familiar to West, Texas Mayor Tommy Muska, whose small town in 2013 was partly leveled by one of the deadliest fertilizer plant explosions in U.S. history. "I don't know what people were thinking about storing that stuff," Muska said, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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