Owner of blast-hit plant in Texas accused of violations

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AUSTIN, TEXAS — The owner of the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that exploded last spring, killing 15 people, has been accused of two dozen safety violations — including unsafe storage of dangerous chemicals — and faces $118,300 in fines from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The April 17 fire and subsequent explosion at West Fertilizer Co. rocked the small community hugging Interstate 35 north of Waco, leaving 10 first responders among the dead. The cause of the explosion, which happened after business hours, has not been determined despite a state and federal investigation that cost more than $1 million.