You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Clearing the air: State ethics board has chance for strong action
    How can appallingly unethical situations repeatedly be overlooked in Indiana state government?The State Ethics Commission’s agenda today includes a proposed settlement with former schools chief Tony Bennett.
  • Insurrection in education
    When voters elected Glenda Ritz nearly two years ago, they made it clear they didn’t like the direction of Indiana schools under Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.
  • We all have role in encounters with the police
    After three Hoosier police officers died within eight days, Gov. Mike Pence ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in each officer’s county on the day of his services. But these tragedies resonate throughout the state.
Associated Press
A scoreboard at the West, Texas, high school football stadium is seen beyond the rubble of a burned-out house.

Furthermore …

Devastating Texas blast exposes deficiencies in safety oversight

In spite of its horrific toll, last week’s harrowing events in Boston seemed to offer closure – one suspect dead, the other in custody and no evidence of connections to a terrorist group.

But there’s no neat ending to be found in the explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, last week.

Fourteen people were killed and 200 injured. Homes and schools are damaged, some beyond repair, and it might be weeks before water and natural gas are restored.

A careful investigation of the cause of the explosion is warranted, but so is an immediate effort to ensure the disaster isn’t repeated elsewhere.

No one should die or be critically injured watching the Boston Marathon, and no one should die or be critically injured because they work at or live near a fertilizer plant.

What is known about last week’s explosion is that the West Chemical and Fertilizer plant hadn’t been inspected by OSHA in 28 years.

State oversight also failed, but Texas isn’t alone in its lax regulatory stance.

A Journal Gazette investigation earlier this year found that the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted about 2,000 annual inspections over the past decade, compared with 7,000 annual inspections during the 1980s.

On average, it took more than 15 days to respond to a workplace complaint.

If Americans want a truly satisfying resolution to an unsettling week, they will demand that those responsible for the deadly explosion in Texas be held accountable and demand adequate regulation of similar operations.