Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Two large explosions at a fertilizer plant in Waco,Texas caused numerous injuries

DEVELOPING: Two large explosions at a fertilizer plant in Texas caused numerous injuries and sent flames shooting high into the night sky on Wednesday, authorities say.

Department of Public Safety troopers were using their squad cars to transport those injured by the blast and fire at the plant in West, a community north of Waco, Gayle Scarbrough, a spokeswoman for the department's Waco office, told television station KWTX.

She said six helicopters were also en route to help out.
American Red Cross crews from across Texas are being sent to the site.Red Cross spokeswoman Anita Foster says her group is working with emergency management officials to find a safe shelter for residents displaced from their homes.
She says teams from Austin to Dallas and elsewhere are being sent to the community.
The blast at West Fertilizer plant, reported shortly before 8 p.m. CT, was confirmed by Waco police dispatch operators. First responders are dealing with numerous injuries and major damage to structures and vehicles, Scarbrough said.
Several buildings, some in residential areas,  were reported to be burning, others destroyed, and a nearby nursing home was damaged, according to a report from KWTX.
Initial reports say people are trapped in a nearby nursing home and an apartment building. according to Reuters.
A local school football field is being setup as a staging area.
According to scanner traffic, authorities are trying to block drivers from coming into town and evacuations are underway, FOX17 reports.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a statement on the blasts late Wednesday.
"We are monitoring developments and gathering information as details continue to emerge about this incident. We have also mobilized state resources to help local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West, and the first responders on the scene."
Debby Marak told The Associated Press that when she finished teaching her religion class Wednesday night, she noticed a lot of smoke coming from the area across town near the plant, which is near a nursing home.
She said she drove over to see what was happening, and that when she got out of her car two boys ran toward her screaming that the authorities told them to leave because the plant was going to explode. She said she drove about a block before the blast happened.
"It was like being in a tornado," the 58-year-old said by phone. "Stuff was flying everywhere. It blew out my windshield."
"It was like the whole earth shook."
She drove 10 blocks and called her husband and asked him to come get her. When they got to their home about 2 miles south of town, her husband told her what he'd seen: a huge fireball that rose like "a mushroom cloud."

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