West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Near Waco: First Responders Were On Scene Fighting Fire Before Explosion

I’m listening to Elizabeth Fran on Fox interview someone with information on this huge explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas near Waco. According to Fox 66 are at hospitals in the area with more expected. There is much concern for first-responders as they were on the scene before the explosion fighting a fire at the facility. The report on Fox said homes and buildings for a few blocks around the area had been leveled. A nursing home was evacuated, but it it’s not certain if all residents were evacuated safely. A major Waco hospital set up a triage in their parking lot. The town of West (2600 population) was reportedly evacuated.

“It was a small fire and then water got sprayed on the ammonia nitrate, and it exploded just like the Oklahoma City bomb,” said Jason Shelton, a clerk at the Czech Best Western Hotel in West. “I live about a thousand feet from it and it blew my screen door off and my back windows. There’s houses leveled that were right next to it. We’ve got people injured and possibly dead.”

Numerous buildings were reported to be on fire, including West Middle School and a nearby nursing home. A dispatcher calling for multiple ambulances said, “We do have a lot of injured here.” Source: Dallas News

People are reporting feeling the repercussion of the blast about 50 miles away. A woman is on Fox this moment saying her 11 year-old-son was thrown to the ground and has fractured ribs. She lives very close to the plant and is told her home is gone.

This CNN report says “at least two emergency medical personnel are dead,” and “some people might be rapped in collapsed buildings.”

Update 11:45 am CDT April 18, 2013:

A “slow, methodical search” is on for victims of this horrible explosion. Estimates of the dead are 5 – 15 at this time. 

Daylight revealed wide devastation, with downtown sidewalks littered with glass from broken storefront windows. The explosion reduced many homes to rubble and ripped the the brick facade off a 50-unit apartment complex near the West Fertilizer Co. plant.

Update 12:48 am CDT April 18, 2013: 

Trooper D.L. Wilson of the Texas Department of Public Safety estimates that as many as 75 homes were severely damaged and an apartment complex with 50 units was gutted by the blast. West EMS Director Dr. George Smith said, ““We’ve got a lot of houses on one street especially there that look like a war zone. They’ve been collapsed, so there may be people inside those houses, either critically injured or deceased.

Tommy Muska, West’s mayor, said at a news conference three hours after the explosion that buildings in a five-block radius from the plant were severely damaged by the explosion. Among them was the West Rest Haven Nursing Home, a location where first-responders evacuated 133 patients, some in wheelchairs. “We did get there and got that taken care of,” Muska said.

Linked at Christian Web Watch – thank you.

  • My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrible accident.

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  • Ronald J. Ward

    I hear the next GOP stop is in Waco Texas where they’ll explain to the West Fertilizer victims and residents that “this is why corporations don’t need no stinkin regulations”.

    • I hear we had/have regulations and the Democrat guv’ment workers didn’t follow up on the fact that the company didn’t qualify for the needed license. We only need regulations when we don’t have regulations.