Investigators Searching for Cause of Explosion

Officials in West released new details into the recovery and investigation Tuesday into an explosion that killed 14 and injured more than 200 last Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Assistant State Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner said the "slow and methodical" investigation continues and is "adhering to a scientific process." Kistner said officials are evaluating the devastation from the areas with least damage to most damage first while they continue to look for the heat source that led to the explosion.

Kistner also said investigators are trying to determine what material first ignited, leading to the massive explosion. Once the sources of ignition and heat are found, the fire can then be classified into one of four causes: natural (act of God), accidental, incendiary (intentional) or undetermined.

At this point, investigators do not know the cause of the explosion. But investigators have determined that a rail car full of ammonium nitrate was not the cause of the fire, Kistner said.

Kistner said officials still did not have an inventory of the chemicals that were at the facility at the time of the explosion and their quantities.

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