Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fertilizer plant explodes in West, Texas

Fertilizer plant explodes in West, Texas, An explosion occurred at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas around 7:50 p.m. Wednesday April 17, after a fire at the plant, located at 1471 Jerry Mashek Dr. just off Interstate 35, had died down but then blazed back to life.

The explosion could be felt and heard over 20 miles outside of town as far away as Axtell.

Reports coming in are showing hospitals to be overwhelmed as they've called in all staff to help with incoming patients. Some patients are being routed to other area hospitals.

Ambulances and fire fighters from surrounding areas are headed in to help. Those injured could be over 100 as reports come in of the middle school and nursing home being on fire as well as other buildings in surrounding neighborhoods as police work to evacuate the area. No hard numbers are currently available on injuries and deaths though fatalities have been confirmed with some saying at least several dozen.

Rescuers have launched a door-to-door search overnight to look for anyone who may have been injured. Windows in many homes across the area were blown out by the explosion and it is estimated that at least 50 homes have been destroyed as well as an apartment complex.

Reports of elderly and children being trapped in buildings have been heard over the radio. Some fire fighters are unaccounted for.

The explosion knocked out power to over a thousand residents.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said the area looked like a war zone after the blast, which had a magnitude of 2.1, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Hazmat teams have been dispatched from Waco and Killeen.

High winds in the 20-25 mph range will persist all night, making the fire much harder to put out.

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