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We’ve posted some of the overnight photos from that devastating explosion last night in the small town of West, Texas, along I-35 between Waco and the DFW metroplex.

Some firefighters, apparently local volunteers, remain missing. The death toll is still unknown. At a press briefing a short time ago, a law enforcement spokesperson described some of parts of the town around the fertilizer plant as “gone.”No cause for the explosion has yet been publicly identified. While it seems unlikely that a relatively remote ammonia plant in central Texas would be deliberately targeted, the irony of a major industrial accident happening about 20 miles from David Koresh’s former compound two days before the 20th anniversary of the federal raid that killed him and 75 others, an anniversary that has become a symbolic date for right wing extremists, well, that irony would be staggering.

Also note that the plant in West manufactured chemicals similar to the ones Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City bombing, which was also on April 19, timed for the second anniversary of the disastrous raid on Koresh.

Again, no indication that this was a deliberate attack, but either way — deliberate attack or complete coincidence — it’s jaw-dropping.

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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