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West's first responders named Texans of the Year

DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Morning News has named the first responders during the West fertilizer plant explosion as its Texans of the Year.

The newspaper announced its choice in an editorial to be published Sunday.

Twelve of the 15 people who died in the April 17 explosion were firefighters or others who tried to help put out an initial fire at West Fertilizer Co., where tons of ammonium nitrate detonated in an earth-shattering blast. The newspaper also credited people who tried to move neighbors out of harm's way and treat them after the blast.

The blast forever changed West, a dot in Central Texas along Interstate 35 once known mainly for its Czech heritage.

Many of those who survived the blast continue to struggle with physical and emotional pain.

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