Church in Blast Crisis

Residents embrace after service at Catholic church four days after deadly fertilizer plant explosion in Texas.

Emergency personnel were combing through blocks of wreckage in West, Texas on April 18, a day after a chemical fertilizer factory caught fire and exploded with the force of a small earthquake, injuring scores and killing at least 14 others. Dozens of homes were destroyed. In a town with a strong Czech and German immigrant history, the 120-year-old Church of the Assumption Catholic Parish is one of the largest church communities, with about 1,300 families, and church property was being used by emergency services as a command center. Father Ed Karasek, the pastor of 24 years, posted brief notes on the parish Web site, reporting, “We have lost several folks dear to us and many, many more have lost a portion of or all of their possessions.” He said that in the close-knit town, everyone was coming together: “Everybody is related to each other, and they are all supporting each other.”

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Chris NUNEZ
5 years 5 months ago
Many prayers for the lives lost in this event, and for those who have suffered physically or loss of their homes and possessions. This event -- I cannot bring myself to use the word 'tragic' for that would gloss over the fact that this is the result of a terrible social injustice. Since the blast, article after article has pointed out the criminal negligence that led to this explosion that devastated a whole community. Regulatory agencies, whether OSHA, and so many others exist to prevent this needless destruction and loss of life. This is what happens with deregulation that 'favors' business interests at the expense of the common good, and safety. And restoring proper regulation for worker and community health safety is the work unions should spearhead.

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