The lively West community has some 78% of its population of Czech Slovak heritage. Czech immigrants came to the area since 1880s.
An explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant on April 17, 2013 leveled several blocks of the town and caused fires to spread across several more blocks. There were around 200 injuries and many deaths.
A Czech mass in honor of the victims and other residents of West was held on Sunday, April 21, at 12:15PM in the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, DC.
The Czech Ambassador to the United States Petr Gandalovič visits West with Texas Governor Perry to see the damage and to meet Mayor Muska to discuss specific forms of assistance that the Czech Republic could provide to the community.