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Safety forum visits ETX counties storing more than 10,000 lbs. of ammonium nitrate

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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

First Responders from several different East Texas Departments are now more prepared to handle a chemical explosion like the one that happened in the city of West. 

Around 80 firefighters listened to The State Fire Marshal's Office give a presentation on ammonium nitrate Wednesday night at Lindale High School.

State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy started the presentation with an overview of what happened during the deadly explosion last April in West. 

He says the state's goal is to make sure something like that never happens again by doing things like reviewing safety practices with first responders. 

"Those folks deserve this outreach and certainly those that died made the ultimate sacrifice. We owe it to them, and certainly to their families, to go out and share this information because they don't want to see this happen again any more than we do," Connealy says.

Smith County is one of 68 Texas counties that have 10,000 lbs. or more of ammonium nitrate being stored. 

The State Fire Marshal's Office is going to visit each of those counties to give this same presentation.

Connealy says significant changes in legislation will come from what we learned in West and presentations like this are the first step to ensuring safety. 

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