No Accident: West Plant Explosion Called ‘Criminal Act’

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WEST, Texas -- Bobby Rios was at home back in 2013 when he heard the sound.

"We live about 15 miles out of town from here, we heard the explosion out there. We thought it was thunder," he said.

No, it wasn't a thunderstorm.

James Weinberger was much closer.

"So, I turned around and started coming back. That's when the explosion happened, bounced my car off the road, and saw it pick up in front of me, saw the windshield and back glass fall out of it," Weinberger told NewsFix.

That fertilizer plant explosion in the small town of West, Texas killed 15 -- including 12 responders -- wounded more than 150 others and destroyed everything for several blocks in every direction.

It changed everything in West.

After three years, 400 interviews and an exhaustive investigation, the Feds revealed another shocker -- "The fire was a criminal act."


On purpose.

The question now is -- who?!

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is offering a reward -- $50,000 for a tip that answers that question. And Crime Stoppers in Waco is chipping in two-grand. If you know anything, call 254-753-HELP.

The explosion site is just an empty field now. Just one more change for West.

The tragedy brought the people of this close-knit town even closer. It's hard for folks here to believe one of their own could be responsible for something like this.