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Texas explosion stirs memories on the First Coast

7:31 PM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  A massive explosion on the city's Northside more than five years ago is stirring memories of survivors who said they can easily identify with what people in West, Texas are experiencing.

That Texas town was rocked by a fertilizer plant explosion that killed at least 15 people and injuring at least 160 others.

The explosion on Faye Road happened at the T2 Labs where a fuel additive was being made.  The December 19, 2007 blast killed four company employees and injured 32 people altogether.

Neighboring businesses within a quarter of a mile suffered building damage with people injured as well.

"We could hear it. It kept exploding," said Kathy Wise who vividly recalled the building shaking and ceiling tile falling at Cogburn Brothers, a contracting company located several football fields from the T2 Labs.

When learning of the explosion in Texas, Wise said what happened on Faye Road and her experiences immediately came to mind.

Wise said she is thankful the explosion was vertical rather than horizontal.

"Gone horizontal they told us anything within half mile or mile radius would have been, buildings destroyed. We could have been killed," said Wise from the office hallway where she was standing when the T2 Labs blast happened.

Investigators conclude a reactor malfunction contributed to the blast.  The operation is no longer in business and the land where T2 was located is now a storage yard.   

 

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