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Texas town struggling after devastating industrial accident

Construction is on the rise in West, Texas, but that's a mixed blessing at best. Home construction is surging because much of the town was destroyed in a devastating chemical blast that claimed 15 lives six months ago.

A media report says the small town's residents are uneasy and jumpy these days, with alcohol abuse increasing after the terrifying industrial accident at a fertilizer plant.

The town is on the mend, as are many of its citizens who are going through arduous physical rehabilitation after sustaining serious injuries in the April explosion that destroyed 161 homes and left more than 200 people with injuries.

USA Today reports that a volunteer firefighter who fought the fire says "the emotional toll from the incident may take years to detect and treat." He sustained a series of injuries, including a shattered eardrum, nerve damage, a broken ankle and broken ribs, five teeth knocked out and broken cheekbones.

Though the town is rebuilding, he says the emotional trauma residents and workers suffered that day will "take a long, long time" to overcome.

Some residents have filed legal actions against the company that owns the fertilizer plant; a company recently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a series of serious safety violations.

Experts say it's quite possible that a number of residents are struggling today with medical issues from undiagnosed brain damage or other internal injuries suffered in the blast.

As we recently reported, insurance companies are proving difficult to deal with as residents file personal injury claims to get the medical help they need and the financial assistance they require to put back together remnants of their lives.

Source: USA Today, "Texas town struggles to rebound from deadly blast," Rick Jervis, Oct. 17, 2013

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