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West Explosion

West Explosion

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West Explosion Kills Up To 15

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

Thursday morning’s early rain fall helped first responders and rescue crews contain fires following a deadly explosion at a chemical and fertilizer plant in the Central Texas city of West.

The city of 2,800 is located approximately 20 miles north of Waco.

Volunteer firefighters responded to a fire at the plant at 7:29 p.m. Wednesday night. Crews were working to contain the blaze when an explosion followed 20 minutes later.  Most of the fires were contained just before midnight, but Police Chief W. Patrick Swanton said those flames were still smoldering Thursday.

Authorities say more than 160 people are injured and five to 15 people were killed in the explosion. Swanton said three to four firefighters – believed to be first responders -- are still unaccounted for, but an officer reported missing has been located. He is hospitalized and recovering from serious injuries.

Authorities say 50- 75 homes have been destroyed as well as a 50-unit apartment complex.  Some residents, including a nearby nursing home, have been evacuated. Swanton said he is not sure when they will be allowed to return.
Rescue crews are still going door – to –door searching for people trapped in the wreckage.

West Explosion Kills Up To 15

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