WEST, Texas (KXAN) - Two lawsuits accusing the owner of West Fertilizer Co. of negligence have been filed in connection with the explosion that killed at least 14 people in the small town north of Waco.
Both civil actions were filed in the McLennan County district court against Adair Grain Inc., which also does business as West Fertilizer. One of the lawsuits was jointly filed by several businesses and two churches in West and their insurance companies.
"The explosion and its aftermath caused severe damage to Plaintiff's insured's property and business," one lawsuit says. "Defendant's negligent acts of omission were the proximate cause of the explosion that resulted in damages to the Plaintiffs, including the destruction (of) real and personal property and lost profits."
The second suit was filed by Andrea Jones Gutierrez, a single mother who said her families belongings were destroyed in her apartment near the blast zone. She is seeking up to $1 million for lost possessions and lost wages and benefits.
No cause for the blast that started with a fire at the plant on Wednesday night has been identified. Kelly Kisner of the State Fire Marshal's Office said Tuesday that a rail car near the blast site was not the cause. More likely, the fire and explosion were sparked by someone who was killed at the scene.
Local, federal and state authorities are still investigating. People whose homes are in the blast zone still had limited access to their property as of Tuesday.
Officials in West said the blast forged a crater 93 feet wide and 10 feet deep. It shook the ground like a small earthquake, officials said.
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