West, TX blast first responders' autopsies reveal drugs, alcohol


POSTED: Friday, August 9, 2013 - 1:24pm

UPDATED: Monday, August 12, 2013 - 12:47pm

Autopsy results for three heroic firefighters who were killed in the West, Texas plant explosion are raising some tough questions.

The mayor says the results indicate they should not have responded to the fire.

They are men who came to action.

Heroes who came to help victims of the fire and explosion.

Volunteer firefighters now memorialized outside the West Fire Department.

But, on Thursday, an autopsy report shows some of them shouldn't have been there.

Reports show heroic brothers Douglas and Robert Snokhous, of West, had blood alcohol levels well above the legal limit.

Douglas had a blood alcohol level of .12 while, Robert's was .158.

West Mayor Tommy Muska is unfazed by this report.

"I truly think they are all still heroes," said Muska. "This doesn't diminish my opinion of them in the least."

Another firefighter from Abbott, Gary Chapman, had marijuana in his system.

The mayor says all three, by law, should not have responded.

"It's city policy that you don't get in a fire truck if you have been drinking," said Muska. "You don't really even go to the fire."

West has no written code about operating under the influence.

But, a rule by the International Association of Fire Chiefs does.

The mayor urged the victims' families to not read the autopsy report.

He didn't even read it.

"I don't need to read them," said Muska. "There's nothing in there I need to read, there's nothing in there the families need to read, there's nothing that's going to bring those guys back."

Comments News Comments

Any amount of alcohol is too much when working with explosives. Fatigue can be dangerous too.

Maybe they wouldn't have been killed if they had not been under the influence.

Spraying water on an ammonium nitrate fire indicates a deadly lack of training. The real problem here is the ignorance and lack of training displayed by the city government in West. This was not an unavoidable accident. OSHA provides free information on the safe storage of this chemical. Everyone involved in this incident used extremely poor judgement.


These men are heros PERIOD!

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