West, Texas residents look for normalcy after returning home

Published On: Apr 21 2013 10:10:37 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 21 2013 10:41:56 PM CDT

April 21, 2013: More residents were able to return home Sunday after a fertilizer plant explosion occurred in West, Texas. Phillip Mena reports.

WEST, Texas -

More residents were able to return home Sunday after a fertilizer plant explosion occurred in West, Texas.

As the 7 p.m. curfew remains in effect in West, more people were able to get a closer look at some of the damage caused by the fire and blast.

John Villanueva said he was mowing his lawn when the fertilizer plant several blocks from his home exploded.

"I had a lot of window damage mainly," said Villanueva.

Across the street, Bill Warren mowed his lawn too, but for a different reason.

"Just trying to get back to some type of normalcy," said Warren. "As normal as we can get after everything that happened. It kind of takes your mind off of what's happened, you know, for thirty minutes."

Both men said they're the lucky ones.

"It could have been a lot worse. It's a lot worse for those people on the other end of town," said Villanueva. "They're devastated over there."

The remnants of the fertilizer plant were found just a few hundred yards from one street, where neighbors finally got a first-hand look at the damage the explosion did.

Up until 5 p.m. Sunday, the area was still off-limits. Because of a strict 7 p.m. curfew, residents had only two hours to grab what was left of their valuables.

One man said even though his home of 50 years may be beyond repair, his life isn't.

"We are not hurt," said Ed Sykora. "Everything else can be taken care of. If it's rebuildable, fine. If not, we'll tear it down and build another one."

Sykora's neighbors agree, adding this tragedy will only bring this small town of West closer together.

"We will recover one day, but its gonna take a lot of time," said Sykora.

As for the investigation, state officials on Sunday would only say that they've pinpointed the center of the blast, but nothing more.

Local 2 is told it will still be several months before investigators will be able to determine what caused the blast.

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