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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion, Dozens Feared Dead, Hundreds Injured

WACO (CBSDFW.COM) -  A fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, north of Waco, has injured hundreds and as many as 70 people are feared dead.  However, no official numbers have been released.

Meanwhile, the residents of the town of 2,700 are being asked to evacuate due to ammonia fumes after the explosion of West Fertilizer. The plant is located at 1471 Jerry Mashek Drive, just off Interstate-35.  School buses and ambulances are being used to evacuate residents from the area.

Dozens Feared Dead, Hundreds Injured In Fertilizer Plant Explosion « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

"It was a like a nuclear bomb went off," the mayor, Tommy Muska, told reporters. "Big old mushroom cloud. There are a lot of people that got hurt. There are a lot of people that will not be here tomorrow."

CNN reported two emergency workers killed, a death toll which authorities feared will rise sharply. More than 150 people were treated for injuries at the local hospital as well as at Waco, 18 miles away, and Dallas, 80 miles away.

Units from 30 fire departments brought the blaze at the West Fertilizer Company plant under control by midnight. Fears that a second fertiliser tank might explode receded but authorities continued to evacuate residents amid concern about toxic fumes.

David Argueta, vice-president of operations at Waco's Hillcrest Baptist medical centre, said staff had treated lacerations and orthopaedic-type injuries. "We are being told that we have seen most of the patients, and it's now turned into a search-and-rescue operation on scene."

A spokesman for the Texas department of public safety, DL Wilson, told a press conference the blast had probably caused hundreds of wounded and some deaths. "We do have confirmed fatalities. The number is not current yet. It could go up by the minute. We're in there searching the area right now and making sure that it's safe."

UPDATE (04.17.2013 @0600 HRS): 

Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion, Dozens Feared Dead, Hundreds Injured

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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