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Multiple Deaths Reported After Waco-Area Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Updated: Thursday, April 18 2013, 04:15 PM CDT

A Waco-area fertilizer plant exploded Wednesday night, causing multiple deaths and major damage.

The explosion happened at around 7:50 p.m. at West Fertilizer at 1471 Jerry Mashek Dr. just off I-35, 15 miles north of Waco in the town of West.

Dr. George Smith, Director of West EMS, said hundreds were injured. But a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety says an unknown number of people were killed

The mayor of West, Texas, says volunteer firefighters went to fight a fire at a fertilizer plant about a half-hour before a massive explosion tore through it and damaged surrounding buildings.

Mayor Tommy Muska says he's a volunteer firefighter himself and his helmet was knocked off when the explosion happened.

Muska says the blast badly damaged buildings for a five-block radius around the plant, including a nearby middle school and nursing home. He says the nursing home's 133 residents were safely evacuated.

A Waco hospital official says at least 66 people were taken there for treatment, including some who were seriously hurt.

The plant is still smoldering but no firefighters are currently fighting the fire. Officials say they are worried about people not property.

Gayle Scarbrough, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety in Waco, told KWTX that DPS troopers transported the injured to hospitals in their patrol cars. Multiple helicopters also aided in transporting the injured.

Hillcrest Hospital has set up a hotline to check for injured: 254-202-1100

We will update this story as we learn more.

How you can help:

The Blood Donation Center in Temple will be opening to allow area residents to come to the donation center at Scott & White Memorial Hospital. The Blood Donation Center can be accessed by the main hospital entrance at 2401 S. 31st Street, Temple.

Carter Blood Care Center in Waco will be open & accepting blood donations starting at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Photo from KWTX

Multiple Deaths Reported After Waco-Area Fertilizer Plant Explosion

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