Crews search for victims after West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion
A “nightmare scenario,” that’s what a plant fire in West, Texas is being called.
Wednesday night the plant suddenly exploded, leveling block after block.
Preliminary estimates are 10 to 15 people were killed but that number could go higher as rescue crews search the rubble of nearby homes and businesses.
More than 160 people were injured.
Rescue crews are searching for survivors after the massive explosion at a fertilizer plant.
Cameras were rolling and captured the power of the blast as it happened.
Derrick hurt and his daughter were also recording at the time of the explosion.
“I thought it killed both of us really, to be honest with you,” Derrick Hurt said.
The blast, so strong it extended out into the community that surrounds the plant.
Several volunteer firefighters battling the initial blaze were caught up in the explosion and are now missing.
The blast destroyed a four-block area around the plant, which included 50 to 75 homes, an apartment complex and nursing home which was being evacuated.
Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said, “Homes have been destroyed, homes flattened, part of that community is gone.”
The search for survivors is being hampered by the unstable conditions of many of the homes and buildings.
Sgt. Swanton said, “Once they get a structure secure, then and only then are they able to go in a search. It is tedious.”
West, Texas is a small tight-knit community of about 2,800 people all of whom are distraught about what has happened here.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, “This tragedy has most likely hit every family, it’s touched practically everyone in that town.”
It is still too soon to know caused the initial fire or the explosion.
Just last year federal regulators fined the company that operates the plant for safety violations.
Meanwhile, the ATF’s National Elite Response team has been called in to investigate.