Since the tragic fertilizer plant explosion of April 17, no newspaper has more passionately sought to encourage the rebuilding of West and the healing of its residents than the Waco Tribune-Herald.

At the same time, this newspaper does not believe one can sufficiently acknowledge the sacrifices of those lost by glossing over the devastation of what happened that day — specifically, the sheer violence of a chemical explosion ultimately caused by an astounding lack of state and federal regulation.

Anyone who has read the autopsy reports knows full well our Thursday story about the deaths of the victims, while disturbing, doesn’t begin to recount the horrific detail contained in page after page of the official reports. Yet to simply attribute these deaths to "blunt-force trauma" doesn’t begin to convey the needless horror of this incident.

Some of the people with whom we’ve spoken in the past day suggest that perhaps such reporting comes too soon, when wounds in West are still fresh. We are deeply sorry this story has proven so upsetting and has aggravated the healing we sincerely wish for the people of West.

Our only intent is to report this story responsibly and accurately, with tact and honesty, so that the sacrifices of those killed on April 17 can prevent a similar tragedy somewhere else.