February planned burn at plant led to school evac

Posted at 5:14 AM, Apr 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-18 06:16:08-04

WEST, Texas (AP) - A school near the Texas fertilizer plant that was leveled by an explosion says it wasn't warned about a controlled fire at the plant in February and evacuated its students to another school as a precaution.

Superintendent Marty Crawford notified West Intermediate School parents and staff in a Feb. 12 letter that the evacuation earlier that day was orderly. The letter is posted on the district's website.

He says the West Fertilizer plant didn't inform school officials that it planned to burn unwanted pallets and brush, and that officials were alarmed by the fire.

Crawford says the principal called 911 and that the dispatcher didn't acknowledge any coordinated burn. He says the district asked to be notified by local emergency personnel and the plant before any future planned burns.

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