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Criminal probe launched in Texas fertilizer plant blast

Firefighters in front of caskets of colleagues who died in a fertilizer plant blast, in Waco, Texas, on April 25, 2013
Firefighters salute in front of caskets and pictures of their colleagues during a memorial service at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on April 25, 2013, for the firefighters who died in a huge blast at a Texas fertilizer plant on April 17. Authorities i

Authorities in Texas said Friday they have launched a criminal probe in the April 17 explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas that claimed 14 lives.

"This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered," said Steven McCraw, director of Texas Department of Public Safety, in a statement.

Officials did not say whether they possessed any new information causing them to suspect foul play.

The huge blast three weeks ago leveled a large swath of West, with several first responders among the dead.

Around 200 people were injured in the blast, which decimated the small town of 2,800 people, located 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Dallas.

Homes near the blast site were flattened, a huge apartment complex was destroyed and a nursing home and several schools were also badly damaged by fire that spread from building to building following the explosion.

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