Jackson man's mother blown out of chair in West, TX blast - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson man's mom blown out of chair in TX explosion

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Della Allen was sitting in her chair in her sun room when the explosion happened. (Source: Family) Della Allen was sitting in her chair in her sun room when the explosion happened. (Source: Family)
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson resident John Anderson has several family members who live in West, TX. He had just finished dinner Wednesday night when he got a frantic phone call. He didn't recognize the voice immediately, but it was his sister-in-law. She told him the fertilizer plant blew up and they couldn't find his mother Della Allen.

Anderson initially started to grab his bag and keys so he could make the drive to Texas. His wife talked him out of it. The next time they spoke to Anderson's sister-in-law, she told them Allen's house was still standing but gutted on the inside.

"There was insulation hanging from the ceiling, glass everywhere. But they looked around, could not find her and then they realized they could not find her walker. She uses a walker. So they thought, well she must've gotten out somehow," said Anderson.

An hour later, someone called the family to let them know she had been taken to the community center. Yet another hour passed before they reconnected with her. She was a little bloody and had glass in her hair but was otherwise safe.

"Apparently she was sitting in her chair in her little sunroom when the explosion happened. Blew out all the windows. Blew her out of her chair, onto the floor," explained Anderson.

She doesn't remember getting out but apparently crawled on the floor through the glass. She made it to the door and started calling for help. A man driving by stopped and helped take her to the community center.

Della Allen is now with family in a nearby town. Her home is uninhabitable. John Anderson is relieved she is safe and back with family.

We asked the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality about their safety programs and how they would respond if a similar incident were to happen in our state.

A spokesperson tells us they force facilities to analyze their chemicals and do unannounced compliance inspections. Each facility is also required to have a risk management plan on file. That plan includes information like how emergency officials should respond and what details should be given to the public if there were to be a chemical release.

There are different levels of plans based on factors such as population around the facility and how much of the specified chemical is released.

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