The Inferno That Killed James Boagie

The Inferno That Killed James Boagie

A $4.6 billion plant will make ammonia ‘the fuel of the future’

“We had a big explosion in the plant. There was a massive fire…. We have a lot of employees now, which is a good thing. But it is difficult for me to sleep at night. We have a big house in which we’ve lived for 50-plus years; the place has been in our family for 50 years.” — James “Bo” Boagie, who lost 12 members of his extended family in the plant explosion.

A little more than a week ago, James Boagie, 55, stood in a parking lot in a suburb of Detroit and watched the smoke waft into the distance. After the explosion that knocked him unconscious, Boagie was thrown from his first-floor bedroom window and onto his second-floor roof.

“I’ve now been through three surgeries,” Boagie said. “I’ve had five or six x-rays.” He was released from the hospital on Nov. 2. He and the four neighbors who survived the inferno are back at their Detroit home.

Boagie’s story, like that of other nearby residents, is emblematic of the crisis many in Michigan are facing. While the state’s automakers are trying to restart their plants, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing to spend $600 million helping people displaced by the 2010 auto-industry meltdown.

After the explosion, the state’s governor went to Detroit’s emergency room to tell Boagie he’d be there with him soon. The governor is in the White House meeting with President Barack Obama and other top leaders.

Michigan is the final stop for the White House after it finishes with meetings in the District of Colombia, where Obama has held some of his most significant meetings since winning the White House in November.

Michigan is home to more than a dozen key companies with an enormous impact on the economy. At stake

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