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West Explosion

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Federal Lawmakers Inspect Scene Of Blast In West

Updated: Friday, April 19 2013, 02:36 PM CDT

Three federal lawmakers are in West, Texas touring the site of the leveled fertilizer plant. U.S Senator John Cornyn says some 60 people are still unaccounted for, but would not say if they are believed to be dead.

"Right now authorities are going to the hospitals and making sure where people are," said Cornyn.

Senators Cornyn and Ted Cruz visited the blast site just minutes before briefing reporters at a news conference held at noon.  Among the charred remains is a volunteer fire truck driven by first responders.

"There was a fire and the fire subsequently, after fire responders got there, caused tanks to explode causing significant damage and loss of life," added Cornyn.

Congressman Roger Williams, whose district includes West, would not elaborate on the death toll -- believed to be around a dozen -- until the search and rescue effort is complete.

"There's a hope it won't go any higher than 12, there's no question about that," said Williams.

The trio remaining tight lipped on the circumstances surrounding the explosion until the investigation is complete.

"I think it would be a mistake to rush to a conclusion before facts and evidence is assembled," said Cruz.

Governor Rick Perry has issued a disaster declaration and is requesting federal aid from the President.

Web Extra: Special West Explosion coverage

By Alex BoyerFederal Lawmakers Inspect Scene Of Blast In West

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