April 30, 2013 — Residents of West, Texas whose homes were closest to the fertilizer plant explosion on April 17 have finally been allowed to return home. The hardest-hit area, “Zone 3,” is a scene of devastation — roofs caved in, brick walls crumbled, ceiling insulation on the ground, cars burned to the metal frame, and furniture reduced to splinters. An estimated 180 homes have been damaged or destroyed, and only five homes in Zone 3 are still habitable.
Two days ago, residents began lining up at 7 a.m. to be escorted into Zone 3 for the first time. They were only allowed to gather their belongings until 7 p.m., when they were escorted out of the area.
Dozens of families who can’t return home are renting houses in the area, staying at hotels, with friends or family, or in shelters opened up by local churches and relief organizations. Many of them are thankful to have escaped with their lives when so many people did not.
Last week, memorial services were held for most of the 15 people who perished in the explosion. Twelve of those who died were first-responders, including several volunteer firefighters whose bodies were found just yards from the 90-foot epicenter of the explosion. Memorial services were attended by President Barack Obama, Texas Governor Rick Perry, thousands of people from West, and other neighboring towns in Texas.
Investigators say that it could take many weeks to determine what started the initial fire at the fertilizer plant before the explosion.
As homeowners begin the long, arduous process of cleaning up and rebuilding, many are now dealing with bureaucracy from their insurance company. The Insurance Council of Texas estimates that total insured losses could be $100 million. The mayor of West, Tommy Muska, who is also an insurance agent, estimates that housing losses could be $24 million.
It is likely that the insurance claim process for property damage in West will not be clear-cut. Four insurance companies who are on the hook for the damage in West have already filed lawsuits against Adair Grain, the company that owns West Fertilizer Company. Until these lawsuits are resolved, there could be disputes about who is ultimately liable for the insured losses in West.
Do I have a Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Lawsuit?
Our law firm has already been contacted by residents of West, Texas and we are now currently representing a number of victims in the horrible tragedy. If you or somebody you know was harmed by the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation.
We are currently accepting potential lawsuits involving personal injury claims, hearing loss, property damage, economic losses, recovery costs, and more. Please use the form below to contact our Accident & Personal Injury Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.