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July 9, 2013

Official: Ammonium nitrate not stored in county

GREENVILLE — There is no reported significant accumulation of a potentially explosive substance stored within Hunt County.

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical commonly used as an ingredient in fertilizer, the detonation of which has been tied to several devastating explosions over the years, including the April 17 blast at a fertilizer plant in West.

Department of Homeland Security Director for Hunt County Richard Hill said the Texas Department of State Health Services tracks the storage of ammonium nitrate and has listed 121 locations in Texas where more than 10,000 pounds of the chemical are stored.

“There is no ammonium nitrate of more than 10,000 pounds stored anywhere in Hunt County,” Hill said. “None is being reported to the State of Texas.”

Hill said he and his staff have also checked with local businesses.

“We have found no one that sells ammonium nitrate in Hunt County, except in small amounts,” Hill said, noting some gardening merchants sell fertilizer products containing the chemical. “And even then it is not 100 percent ammonium nitrate.”

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