Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Bonus content

April 16, 2014

Victims in Texas blast choose closure over answers

(Continued)

The state fire marshal's office says it will release a report on first responders' deaths later this month. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is also expected to announce its preliminary findings this month.

But the best chance for the public to find out what happened may be in civil court.

More than 100 people have filed lawsuits against Adair Grain Co., the plant's operator. The city of West, the local school district and the nursing home also sued, as did insurers for damaged businesses and homes.

Adair Grain had $1 million in liability insurance — a drop in the bucket toward the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to rebuild schools, homes and infrastructure.

Lawyers expanded their lawsuits to include the companies believed to have supplied ammonium nitrate to the plant, saying those suppliers could have sold a less dangerous fertilizer and ensured customers knew how to store it. One supplier, Illinois-based CF Industries, told federal regulators it had "strong legal and factual defenses to the claims and intend to defend ourselves vigorously."

The first trial is set to begin in January.

Steve Harrison, an attorney involved in the lawsuits, said witness testimony, documents and other evidence the cases uncover could help determine what started the fire and what could have been done to prevent it.

"We're going to examine how the products were manufactured, were they manufactured to the specifications they should have been, and if they weren't, did that make the product unreasonably dangerous," Harrison said. "The question is, 'Who's responsible?'"

But in West, a central Texas town of 2,800 people, several residents told The Associated Press in interviews that they were trying not to blame anyone.

"To me, I don't really care what happened," said Brian Uptmor, whose brother Buck was killed while trying to move animals away from the facility. "It was an accident. That's all it was. It was an accident. Being upset at everyone involved it not going to bring anyone back."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • Kids Killed Driver Shot-9 [Duplicate] Prosecutor: Father shooting driver was 'execution' ANGLETON, Texas (AP) — A drunken driver did not deserve "execution" by a Texas father accused of taking the law into his own hands in a fit of rage over the killing of his two sons in a wreck, a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday. David Barajas is ac

    August 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • Police Shooting Missouri-15 [Duplicate] Ferguson pledges outreach efforts after shooting FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Ferguson's leaders urged residents Tuesday to stay home after dark to "allow peace to settle in" and pledged several actions to reconnect with the predominantly black community in the St. Louis suburb where the fatal shooting of

    August 19, 2014 10 Photos

  • Mug Shot T-Shirt [Duplicate] Man shows up for jail in T-shirt with his mug shot MADISON, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who served a 48-hour sentence for drunken driving wore something special for his jail booking photo: a T-shirt featuring his mug shot. Nineteen-year-old Bobby Burt, of Pittsfield, had the mug shot from his June arre

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Still Working at 101-9 [Duplicate] His 101st birthday present? Another day at work EAST HANOVER, N.J. (AP) — Herman "Hy" Goldman turned 101 this weekend and won't quit after 73 years working at the same New Jersey job. Goldman still shows up four days a week at light fixtures company Capitol Lighting in East Hanover. His co-worker

    August 19, 2014 5 Photos

  • US Perry-3 [Duplicate] No arrest for Gov. Perry but mug shot to be taken AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge opted Monday not to issue an arrest warrant against Gov. Rick Perry, but the Republican still faces the unflattering prospect of being booked, fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken — and has assembled a team o

    August 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • New US 31 route near South Bend opening this week SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — State highway officials say the new stretch of U.S. 31 between South Bend and Plymouth in northern Indiana will open to traffic this week. The Indiana Department of Transportation says drivers will be able to start using the

    August 18, 2014

  • EMS company to end most Indiana services MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — An Arizona-based emergency medical services company has announced it will end ambulance service to most of its Indiana locations. Rural/Metro Corporation is going to stop serving more than 30 communities, WTHR-TV reported.

    August 18, 2014

  • Indiana's 1st female chief justice assumes office INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Loretta Rush was formally sworn in Monday as Indiana's first female chief justice, but her gender hardly was mentioned during the ceremony. "Quite simply, she was the best choice," Gov. Mike Pence told a crowd of onlookers and me

    August 18, 2014

  • Immigration Overload Militia [Duplicate] Militias complicate situation on Texas border MISSION, Texas (AP) — On a recent moonlit night, Border Patrol agents began rounding up eight immigrants hiding in and around a canal near the Rio Grande. A state trooper soon arrived to help. Then out of the darkness emerged seven more armed men in

    August 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mideast Israel Palestinians [Duplicate] 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. MISSOURI GOVERNOR SENDS NATIONAL GUARD TO FERGUSON The decision comes hours after police used tear gas once again to clear protesters demonstra

    August 18, 2014 3 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller