Texas Explosion Anniversary

By Kurt Gregory

Published 04/18 2014 10:58AM

Updated 04/18 2014 11:00AM

(NBC News) Family and friends gathered to remember the victims of a massive explosion that killed fifteen people at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas last year. Twelve of them were first responders.

More than 160 people were injured and 150 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the explosion. Construction workers have been working around the clock to rebuild, and since then 28 families have moved back home over the past year and many more will be returning in the coming months.

Rev. Terry McElrath spoke at the memorial service Thursday night.

"They were volunteers who rushed in, stood their ground and ultimately gave their lives trying to protect this town and its citizens," said Rev. McElrath.

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