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Accident - West Texas Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion

Quiz Questions

1. On April 17, 2013, a fire and explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company (WFC), a fertilizer blending, retail, and distribution facility in West, Texas. The violent detonation fatally injured 12 emergency responders and three members of the public. Local hospitals treated more than _________ injured victims, many of whom required hospital admission.
2. After a shipment of one type of fertilizer was unloaded, no cleaning process was used to clear the conveyor belt before the next load was transferred. During the unloading process, the fertilizer occasionally spilled because the conveyor belts got off track or ripped. In such cases there will be cross contamination and intermixing.
3. Which of the following are affected by the WFC explosion?
West Terrace Apartment Complex
West Rest Haven Nursing Home
West Intermediate School
All of the above
4. The West incident caused considerable property damage, including the complete destruction of the WFC facility. An initial estimate by the Texas Department of Insurance set total property damage resulting from the explosion and fire at ___________.
$10 million
$25 million
$50 million
$100 million
5. The two 12,000-gallon anhydrous ammonia pressure vessels were approximately ________ percent full of ammonia at the time of the explosion.
6. CSB found no evidence of pre-incident planning addressing the likelihood of a fire involving FGAN at the WFC facility. As a result, the firefighters who responded to the WFC fire did not take the time to critically assess the situation on the ground before the explosion occurred.
7. The _____________ is an independent commercial enterprise and insurance industry advisory company that provides information, evaluation, and underwriting on safety and risk management related to community fire protection and building code effectiveness, serving insurance companies and other fire safety organizations.
Insurance Services Office
Insurance Advisory committee
Texas Insurance Advisory Board
None of the above
8. Under normal conditions, pure solid AN is a stable material; it usually is not sensitive to mild shock or other typical sources of detonation (such as sparks or friction). However, AN exhibits which of the following of the hazards?
Uncontrollable fire
Decomposition with the formation of toxic gases
All of the above
9. The blast modeling consultants estimated the range of potential explosive yields from the WFC explosion to be equivalent to a range of ____________ pounds of TNT, based on the blast damage indicators recorded and analyzed from 20 lightweight metal buildings, the deformed basketball goalposts, and the condition of the apartment complex and nursing home.
10,000 to 25,000
20,000 to 40,000
None of the above

In 2009, Triangle renewed the policy to the WFC even though there is WFC’s lack of compliance with loss control recommendations issued by Triangle following several onsite audits.


Trevor Kletz, an acknowledged expert on IST and chemical process safety, defined IST as the avoidance of hazards rather than the control of hazards by adding protective equipment. Inherently safer processes can be achieved by which of the following strategies?

Substituting dangerous chemicals or processes with safer alternatives.
Complex processes.
Minimizing the quantity of a chemical on hand or in a process.
Only A and C
12. A variety of courses in all-hazards emergency planning and response constitutes a key aspect of building a culture of preparedness and involves training at many levels, including which of the following?
State, local, tribal, and territorial elected officials
Emergency managers
First responders
All of the above
13. The TCFP, a state government agency, is one of many state and local agencies that compose the Texas fire protection community. The commission’s statutory authority and role within this community is to serve Texas fire departments is?
Provide training guidelines and assistance to the fire service
Establish and enforce statewide fire service standards
Provide fire protection to the companies
Both A and B
14. Fire protection codes and standards generally refer to the most recently developed practices to protect people and property from fire and natural disasters.
15. CSB determined that components of an effective product stewardship program should generally include which of the following elements for each product?
Identifying and communicating all product hazards among manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
Developing mechanisms for outreach to communities near the facilities where the products are stored or used.
Performing monitoring and auditing, such as onsite visits to the locations where the product will be stored or used.
All of the above
16. Since the WFC incident, both CF Industries and EDC have made additional efforts to make sure that their FGAN product is stored and handled safely as it moves out of their manufacturing facilities.
17. To better communicate FGAN hazards in response to the WFC incident, EDC conducted mass mailings to all of its customers. The mailings included which of the following?
EDC’s revised SDS (September 2013 and November 2014 versions)
TFI-ARA Safety and Security Guidelines for Ammonium Nitrate
OSHA Guidance on Ammonium Nitrate Storage Requirements in 29 CFR 1910.109(i)
All the above
18. In fact, the city of West, Texas, was so near the WFC facility primarily because of which of the following factors?
The city "came to" the WFC facility over the years.
There was a lack of zoning regulations.
Because of high real estate prices
Both A and B
Only C
19. ___________ holds the authority to require setting off stored explosive materials and low-explosive materials from inhabited buildings, public highways, public railways, and magazines.
20. ______________ provides a framework for limiting private land use when necessary for the public benefit.
Land use Planning
Land Scheduling
Land Marketing
None of the above