WEST, Texas (AP) — Federal low-interest loans are available for people in several Central Texas counties affected by the deadly West fertilizer plant explosion.
The Small Business Administration funds are for residents of McLennan County, plus neighboring Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties. The April 17 blast that leveled the West Fertilizer Co. facility killed 14 people and left about 200 hurt.
SBA officials on Thursday announced the long-term loans in response to a request from Gov. Rick Perry.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.
Businesses may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets.
Meanwhile, nearly $300,000 has been donated so far to a fund for West residents.
The West City Council this week approved the nonprofit public charity as the recommended recipient for donations since the April 17 disaster. Town leaders Thursday updated how much has been received and thanked everyone for supporting recovery efforts.
Authorities are trying to determine what led to the fiery accident that claimed 14 lives and left about 200 people hurt in West, about 70 miles south of Fort Worth.
Contributions to the West Disaster Relief Efforts Fund may be designated for general assistance, firefighter relief or for victims. Town leaders say general assistance contributions are strongly encouraged because so many needs don't fit a designated category.
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