Breaking News: West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Texas Explosion A large explosion ripped through a fertilizer plant 20 miles north of Waco, Texas, setting dozens of nearby buildings on fire and injuring possibly as many as 100 people tonight, according to television news reports and authorities.

Many of the victims lived near the plant located on the edge of the small town of West, CNN reported. According to an interview with the town’s mayor Tommy Muska, a school, apartment building and nursing home were severely damaged.

Two fatalities were confirmed by George Smith, the town’s emergency medical services director, in an interview with CNN.

“I expect there will be many fatalities,” said Smith, “and many more critically injured people.”

Smith told CNN there were at least 50 damaged buildings, adding that search and rescue efforts of collapsed buildings were being delayed by toxic smoke coming from the blaze.

At a midnight press conference, D.L. Wilson, of the Department of Public Safety, said that an apartment building with 50 units was reduced to a skeleton-like frame and 133 people were evacuated from the nursing home. He would not indicate how many people had died.

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35 Responses to Breaking News: West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion

  1. ‘Red flag’: Texas plant had 1,350 times amount of chemical that would trigger oversight.

    The fertilizer plant that exploded on Wednesday, obliterating part of a small Texas town and killing at least 14 people, had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    Yet a person familiar with DHS operations said the company that owns the plant, West Fertilizer, did not tell the agency about the potentially explosive fertilizer as it is required to do, leaving one of the principal regulators of ammonium nitrate – which can also be used in bomb making – unaware of any danger there.

    Fertilizer plants and depots must report to the DHS when they hold 400 pounds or more of the substance. Filings this year with the Texas Department of State Health Services, which weren’t shared with DHS, show the plant had 270 tons of it on hand last year.

  2. Gov. Perry declares McLennan Co disaster area.

  3. Governor Rick Perry to speak about West Texas explosion at 11:45 a.m.

  4. [wpvideo WYwRyF0P]

  5. [wpvideo frEYySyX]

  6. Mark Knoller‏@markknoller

    While en route Boston on AF-1, Pres Obama phoned Texas Gov Rick Perry to offer any federal resources in response to disaster in West, Texas.

  7. Ametia says:

    President Obama: “Today, our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas.” #WestTX

  8. Firefighters from across North and Central Texas converged on West, Texas after an explosion at a fertilizer plant on April 17, 2013.

    Firefighters from across North and Central Texas converged on West, Texas after an explosion at a fertilizer plant on April 17, 2013.

  9. If you’d like to help the victims of the Explosion in West Texas..

    Donations may be made at

  10. Ametia says:

    Prayers to all. It’s times like this that call on all of us to shine as HUMANS.

  11. Fertilizer Plant Explosion In Texas Levels Buildings, Claims As Many As 15 Lives

    WEST, Texas — Rescue workers searched rubble early Thursday for survivors of a fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others. The blast left the factory a smoldering ruin and leveled homes and businesses for blocks in every direction.

    The explosion in downtown West, a farming community about 20 miles north of Waco, shook the ground with the strength of a small earthquake and could be heard dozens of miles away. It sent flames shooting into the night sky and rained burning embers and debris down on shocked and frightened residents.

    “They are still getting injured folks out and they are evacuating people from their homes,” Waco police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton said early Thursday morning. He added later, “At some point this will turn into a recovery operation, but at this point, we are still in search and rescue.”

    Swanton said authorities believe that between five and 15 people were killed in the blast, but stressed that is an early estimate. There is no indication the blast was anything other than an industrial accident, he said.

    Among those believed to be dead: Three to five volunteer firefighters and a single law enforcement officer who responded to a fire call at the West Fertilizer Co. shortly before the blast. A thunderstorm rolled through the area as the hunt for those still unaccounted for continued early Thursday.

    The explosion that struck around 8 p.m. leveled a four-block area around the plant that a member of the city council, Al Vanek, said was “totally decimated.” The toll included 50 to 75 houses, an apartment complex with about 50 units that one state police officer said was reduced to “a skeleton,” a middle school and the West Rest Haven Nursing Home, from which first-responders evacuated 133 patients, some in wheelchairs.

  12. Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Sends 170 to Hospitals, Levels Homes

    Texas Fertilizer plant

    A fiery explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant in a small town north of Waco sent at least 170 people to hospitals, destroyed dozens of homes and businesses and prompted widespread evacuations.

    Area hospitals reported treating slightly more than 170 people injured by the blast at the plant in West, Texas. Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Gail Scarborough earlier put the number of injured near the plant even higher — 200 people, 40 of them critically.

    The blast also has caused fatalities, said State Trooper D.L. Wilson, another official with the Texas Department of Public Safety, though as of 1 a.m. ET he did not immediately know how many.

    “We have tremendous amount of injuries, probably over 100 injuries at this time,” Wilson said. “At this time, we do have confirmed fatalities.”

    Besides the injuries, officials said homes in a radius of about five blocks around the plant were heavily damaged — perhaps 75 homes or more.

  13. Governor Rick Perry to have a press conference in the morning in Austin.

  14. An apartment complex has been leveled

  15. Investigation team from U.S. Chemical Safety Board deploying to massive fire and explosion at West Fertilizer Plant.

  16. Andres Gutierrez‏@AFGutierrez

    HillcrestBaptist went into “Code Green” their disaster code. 250 physicians and surgeons were called in to assist @NBCDFW

  17. Anonymous‏@YourAnonNews

    Update from DPS: concern now is one unexploded tank that is venting gas from fertilizer plant

  18. Homes in 4 block radius have been leveled.

  19. Information hotline for #WestTX 254-202-1100

  20. Pray for West Texas! It’s very bad. The explosion registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake.

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