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Texas fertilizer blast: Survivor credits ice cream for saving her

April 19, 2013|By Cindy Carcamo

WEST, Texas — Joann Williams is often teased about her fondness for ice cream. On Wednesday, it may have saved her life.

Williams, 70, had just stepped away from the couch and walked into the kitchen. She was in the middle of unwrapping her second serving of banana chocolate fudge ice cream from her freezer when the West Fertilizer Co. exploded. At least 11 first responders have been confirmed dead. More than 160 people were injured. 

Shattered glass rained down on the sofa Williams had been sitting on. If she'd still been there, she probably would have been severely injured or killed, she said.

“I just had to be Miss Piggy and got that second one,” Williams said.

Bits of the kitchen ceiling and insulation crumbled down on her, but she wasn’t hurt.

“But I’m still pulling insulation out of my hair,” Williams said, stroking her blond hair.

Her husband, Keith Williams, 74, was in the front room watching television at the time of the blast. He, too, was OK.

The Williamses evacuated safely, but their home is likely a loss, Joann Williams said. 

They have relocated to a Best Western in West, which has become  an impromptu shelter and donation center.

The couple said they are happy to have escaped with their lives.

“Hey. It’s just a house,” Keith Williams said.


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