Texas town honors 15 killed in year-ago explosion

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WEST, Texas (AP) — Residents of the small Texas town of West are marking the one-year anniversary of a fertilizer plant explosion by honoring the 15 victims and holding a moment of silence at the exact time of the fatal blast.

A fire at the West Fertilizer Company triggered a blast so powerful that it leveled nearby homes and schools the night of Aug. 17, 2013.

Hundreds of people crowded a pavilion at the town's fairgrounds for a ceremony Thursday evening. They observed a moment of silence at 7:51 p.m. as photos of the 15 people killed were shown on a large screen.

Rev. Terry McElrath recalled hearing the boom, turning around and seeing a big column of smoke, and immediately knowing that people had died.

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