Three families of victims of the Texas fertilizer blast that killed 15 people in 2013 have reached a settlement, the McLennan County posted on its website over the weekend. The jury selection for the trial had been scheduled to begin Monday.
The county did not provide any details on the settlement. The agreement also does not affect the cases of other petitioners who filed a lawsuit two years ago seeking answers to the West Fertilizer Co. explosion, CBSDFW.com reported Sunday. The plaintiffs sued local owners of the West, Texas, plant and companies that were involved in either producing or selling fertilizer to West Fertilizer.
The Associated Press reported that District Court Judge Jim Meyer divided various lawsuits into three groups. On Monday, a trial for the first group consisting of the families of three men killed in the explosion was set to begin.
The damage due to the explosion exceeded $200 million. In comparison, the West Fertilizer owners had only $1 million in liability coverage. The blast, which occurred on April 17, 2013, and injured over 170 people, was so powerful that it was registered as a small earthquake.
The fire, which began in a seed room, spread to an area where ammonium nitrate was stored. The chemical reportedly led to a massive detonation, according to an investigation by the State Fire Marshals' Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Officials have been unable to establish the cause of the fire.