West, Texas disaster

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jnpy!$4g3cwk, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. jnpy!$4g3cwk, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #1
    Probably because of the Marathon bombing the West, Texas disaster seems to have not attracted so much comment.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/20/us-usa-explosion-texas-idUSBRE93H02A20130420

    So far, 14 confirmed dead, roughly 200 injured, and (edit -- 1-2) people still missing or unaccounted for. (edit -- they apparently got most people accounted for today).

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/texas-mayor-35-40-people-unaccounted-plant-blast/story?id=18984131


    Safety Rules Limited for Small Fertilizer Plants


    By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI and JACK GILLUM Associated Press
    April 20, 2013 (AP)


    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/safety-rules-limited-small-fertilizer-plants-19006944

    Fertilizer plants would certainly qualify as a potentially hazardous workplace. It is surprising that a residential neighborhood complete with nearby schools was allowed to be built right next to the plant.

    There is a BLS PDF here with occupational statistics.

    http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0009.pdf

    Over 4000 employees die in workplace accidents every year in the U.S., although it is rare for so many civilians to die.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Toltepeceno

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  3. macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Hopefully this is enough of a wakeup call to get regulations passed to make sure this doesn't happen again. And if those regulations are already in place and the plant owners were ignoring them then hopefully the owners end up in jail for a very long time.
     
  4. macrumors demi-god

    Shrink

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    #4
    Having just gone through a serious bit of nastiness in my area, my heart goes out to the friends and families of the killed and injured.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

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    #5
    This is what shocks me the most. Not only a neighborhood, but a playground was literally less than a football field's length from the three storage tanks. Why on earth would zoning laws allow such a thing? I'm guessing the answer is "Government shouldn't tell people where they can build."
     
  6. macrumors 65816

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    It is my understanding that Texas has terrible zoning laws.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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    We also don't know which got built first, the tanks or the playground.
     
  8. macrumors G5

    Macman45

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    I feel for these folks too...Fertiliser plants are dangerous places...according to what we know so far, very few proper procedures were in place to protect the workforce in this establishment. These chemical compounds are explosive, and coincidentally are often used in the manufacturer of IED's of the type seen recently in Boston.

    I hope they take this company to the cleaners. My best wishes to the families who have lost loved ones in this disaster.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

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    #9
    It doesn't matter. A plant shouldn't be built near a school, and a school shouldn't be built near a plant.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    gsugolfer

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    #10
    Government builds the schools and playgrounds.

    Weak argument.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Governments don't build all playgrounds. An even weaker argument.
     
  12. Happybunny, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    Happybunny

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    #12
    Looking at the original story it seems to me, to be a case that it had always be alright up to now so why change things. Over a period of time and nothing bad happens people start to relax, their guard goes down, and it's then that disaster strikes.:(

    This is exactly like it was in Enschede back in 2000, with the firework disaster.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enschede_fireworks_disaster

    Hopefully like Enschede some good can come out of this. As of now safety is taken very seriously, and city and town planners will no longer permit dangerous industrial sites anywhere near housing/schools/play areas.

    But sadly it nearly always takes a major disaster to bring about change.:(
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    gsugolfer

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    They also don't build all schools.

    High odds that they built the ones here, though, seeing as how they build the majority of them.
     
  14. macrumors G3

    NT1440

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    #14
    The problem is we've defunded federal inspectors so far that they are essentially worthless. While there were state inspections, it seems that OSHA hadn't been to this plant in years.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

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    #15
    School yea, but not simply playgrounds. Many times playgrounds are privately funded.


    This is a small plant, less than 10 employees, in a small farming community. Plants like this, and other types, exist all over the country. They don't explode all the time. It's pretty rare. That town also has a rail line going through it.
     
  16. macrumors G3

    NT1440

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    Small plant, yes. Breaking DHS rules knowingly? You Betcha.

    With over 400 lbs of this type of substance you are supposed to report it to the DHS. This plant had over 270 TONS of it, and willfully hid that from regulators :

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/20/west-fertilizer-company_n_3121110.html

    I know its HuffPo, but the story is actually from Reuters.
     
  17. Guest

    eric/

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    #17
    Assuming this is correct, I think it goes on to highlight that we don't need new regulations, the ones here were broke, what's needed is enforcement of the ones in place.

    And people to not be idiots and do illegal, dangerous things.
     
  18. macrumors G3

    NT1440

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    #18
    What's needed is for the GOP (and the Dems in toe, we'll call them republican-lite in this day and age) to stop cutting the funding for agencies that do inspection work, only to turn around after disaster and say that the agency was ineffective and should be cut because they can't do their jobs. Well, they can't do their jobs because you guys constantly cut the ****ing funding needed to have the very people needed to do it.

    Part of the "starve the beast" strategy over the last 30 years has been exactly this. Find a program you want to shut down, either cut the funding, or better yet get your GOP representative to lead the agency only to sabotage it from the inside.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

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    #19
    To my knowledge (hearing from others) and from looking at old maps, the plant has been there for decades, and the neighborhood grew around it.

    The argument about building it, or it being the government which apparently allows it?

    Neither should happen, and the government as well shouldn't be building schools and playgrounds next to plants like this. Even the housing (more than likely NOT built by the government) shouldn't be that close, but zoning laws apparently allow it. That isn't right.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #20
    Big budgets =/= better work.
     
  21. Ugg
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    Ugg

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    #21
    Hopefully you aren't implying that smaller budgets do.

    California may have its problems but zoning idiocy like this isn't one of them.

    It's not surprising that in states with lax planning, disasters like this are more common. They don't care about the people who were killed, only the owners of the company. Unfortunately, this probably won't be the last.
     
  22. macrumors 603

    thekev

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    It mentions sprinklers. I would like to know how many elements were not up to current building code. Beyond that it sounds like a failure in city zoning.
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #23
    I'm not. I do think that a LOT of government agencies are not run efficiently, so cutting back some of the funding is not necessarily a bad thing.

    But bigger budgets do not equal better performance.
     
  24. macrumors G3

    Huntn

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    #24
    This is evidence that you are correct. Blocks of houses were destroyed by the blast, case closed, er open indefinitely.

    I head the local Representative to Congress call it a wakeup call, and it was all most laugh worthy. Yes, let's deflect blame as some complete surprise of a disaster that never could be imagined. Except, this is not the first time a fertilizer plant or large quantity of fertilizer has blown up and it's surrounded by homes, a school, and nursing homes?
     
  25. macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I thought I read somewhere that they were not required....if so, that is crazy.

    ----------

    Because people can break the law, cause an explosion and kill people?

    A plant like that isn't all that dangerous when run correctly. There are gas stations next to schools, airports, railways...

    ----------


    Oh yea...it's the republicans' fault again. They screw everything up. Those bastards even have delayed spring in the midwest. :rolleyes:
     

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