Leading Off (5/17/13)

West Explosion Still Possibly the Result of a Criminal Act.  Authorities believe the deadly incident at West Fertilizer Co. occurred when a fire inside the seed building caused 28 to 34 tons of stored ammonium nitrate to explode. What they haven’t determined is what started that fire, though they’ve narrowed the list of possibilities: “a problem with one of the plant’s electrical systems, a battery-powered golf cart, and a criminal act. They ruled out a wide number of others, from a rail car on site loaded with fertilizer to someone smoking.”

Help Pouring Into Cleburne and Granbury, Even From West. The National Weather Service now says that 16 tornadoes touched down in North Texas on Wednesday night. Volunteers and rescue workers have poured into the hardest-hit communities. Some of that help has come from West, even as that town continues to deal with its own disaster recovery: “The Church of Christ in West, which has been feeding volunteers and victims since the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion, bagged up 200 lunches — pulled pork sandwiches, chips and cake — and sent them to storm-struck Cleburne in Johnson County.”

Dallas to Get a Maritime Museum. No, our city isn’t any closer to the ocean today than it was the last time you checked (about 250 miles away). And yet an $80 million maritime museum, with the soon-to-be decommissioned nuclear submarine USS Dallas as its headlining attraction, is being planned for a 3.5 acre site near the Trinity River, along Riverfront Boulevard in the Rock Island area. I suppose the proposal is no stranger than the fact that the town of Fredericksburg is home to the National Museum of the Pacific War.