"Safety Board: ATF Blocking Plant Blast Probe"

"WACO, Texas — Federal agents and the state fire marshal have effectively barred a federal safety panel from the site of a Texas fertilizer plant blast that killed 15 people and injured about 200 others, hampering its investigation, the panel's chairman said."

"In a May 17 letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso asked the California Democrat to help the board obtain evidence under control of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he contends is essential to the board's investigation, the Waco Tribune-Herald and Austin American-Statesman reported.

"To date, the CSB has experienced significant obstacles that potentially compromise and delay our ability to complete the 'comprehensive investigation' that you have rightly demanded, and that we would very much like to produce," he wrote to Boxer. The chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has said she planned to hold hearings into the April 17 West Fertilizer explosion."

The Associated Press had the story May 21, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Chemical-Safety Watchdog Criticizes Probe of Texas Blast" (Reuters)

"Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Raises Important Questions about Risks Industrial Facilities Pose" (Center for Effective Government)

"Federal Chemical Safety Agency Complains of Lack of Access To West Blast Site" (Dallas Morning News)

"Agencies Accused of Blocking West Blast Probe" (Houston Chronicle)

Source: AP, 05/22/2013