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(Associated Press)<br>

(Associated Press)

Texas launches criminal probe into plant explosion

Last Modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 2:40 PM

WACO, Texas (AP) — Texas law enforcement officials are launching a criminal investigation into last month's deadly fertilizer plant explosion.

Investigators have up to now largely treated the West Fertilizer Co. blast that killed 14 people as an industrial accident.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a Friday statement that the agency has instructed the Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff's Department to launch a criminal probe.

DPS Director Steven McCraw says in a statement he wants to ensure "no stone goes unturned" in the investigation.

The plant blew up on the night of April 17 after a fire erupted at the facility in the rural town of West.


Paramedic who responded to  blast charged

A Texas paramedic who helped evacuate people on the night of the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West is charged with possessing bomb-making materials including a pipe and chemicals.

A criminal complaint unsealed Friday says Bryce Reed has been charged with possession of a destructive device. Law enforcement officials haven't connected the charge to the fire or the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. last month that killed 14 people.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent Douglas Kunze says in the complaint that the McLennan County Sheriff's Office was called earlier this week to a home near West where they found a pipe, a variety of chemicals and fuses.

They say the objects belonged to Reed, who didn't enter a plea when he appeared in court Friday.

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