Report: Paramedic From Texas Fertilizer Plant Arrested

12:20 PM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
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A paramedic who was one of the first on the scene of a massive explosion lat month at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, was arrested early Friday and charged with possession of a destructive device, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Officials have not said whether the arrest of Bruce Reed, 31, is related to the April 17 explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. that killed 14 people, injured around 200 and destroyed hundreds of homes in the vicinity, the newspaper said.

News 92 FM in Houston reported that Reed was one of the early first responders to the scene of the catastrophe and was assigned to be the incident commander at the scene. News 92 FM said authorities indicated that the explosive device was a pipe bomb.

U.S. Marshals arrested Reed around 2 a.m. and and booked him into McLennan County Jail in Waco, the News reported.

The newspaper said Reed had spoken in the past to The Dallas Morning News and the Los Angeles Times about his experience responding to the massive explosion.

The reported arrest came as Texas law enforcement officials on Friday said they had launched a criminal investigation into the massive fertilizer plant explosion.

Until now, Investigators have largely treated the explosion as an industrial accident, but the Texas Department of Public Safety said in statement that the agency has now instructed the Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff's Department to conduct a criminal probe.

"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," DPS Director Steven McCraw said.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said residents "must have confidence that this incident has been looked at from every angle and professionally handled - they deserve nothing less."

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