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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fertilizer plant explosion near Waco

user submitted

Explosion leaves thousands displaced, many injured

POSTED: Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 10:43am
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 1:28pm

A hotline has been set up for any people looking for loved ones possibly injured in the explosion. Here is the number: (254) 202-1100.

The video above is from a witness who caught the explosion on camera.

The Texas Poison Center Network has received numerous phone calls from concerned Texans that may have been exposed to the chemicals in the air around West, Texas. Mild irritation to the eyes, nose and throat may occur. If you’re experiencing symptoms, our trained toxicologists, nurses and pharmacists will be able to provide free, confidential medical advice at 1-800-222-1222.

McLennan County has been declared a DISASTER AREA by President Barack Obama and Governor Rick Perry.

An explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant has displaced thousands, an estimated 160 injured and we can confirm, per Waco PD Public Information Officer Swanton, between five and 15 people are dead.

There are still firefighters who were first-responders at the scene that are missing .A law enforcement official who had been missing after the blast has been accounted for and is in a hospital in critical condition, Swanton told CNN.

The explosion happened around 7:50 p.m., at West Fertilizer, Inc.

A triage was initially set up at a nearby high school football field, but they were later moved from the football field to a community center baseball field roughly six blocks away due to fears of a second explosion.

The City of West has been evacuated, and West ISD has informed us via Twitter the schools will be closed until further notice.

KWKT received a viewer submitted video that caught the explosion on camera (see above).

The Texas Department of Public Safety estimates that 75 to 100 houses and businesses have been destroyed in a two-block radius of the plant. It was last reported 11,000 locations are without electrical power.

Aircrafts flying below 3,000 feet have been banned from flying within a 3-mile radius of West.

West, Texas, Mayor Tommy Muska said 50 to 60 houses in a five-block area were heavily damaged.

Pipelines are being monitored and gas distribution has been disconnected to area homes. 

Texas Education Agency is working with local school districts to assist in educational services for the children of West.

Governor Rick Perry issued the following statement following the explosion: "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."

The blast was so strong, it registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Photo Courtesy: CNN

West is a community of around 2,800 people, about 75 miles south of Dallas and 120 miles north of Austin. 

According to CNN, The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website shows West Fertilizer had a complaint filed against it in 2006 for the smell of ammonia.

See more on the latest from CNN.

KWKT has compiled a list of donation locations, shelters, etc. to help loved ones and the community assist in relief efforts.
 

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Small town, little or no zoning laws, plant was built out in the COUNTRY and the homes, schools, etc. built MORE RECENTLY.

I am guessing that the school was built after the plant that had been there since 1962. When I was a kid in Ennis...just a bit farther north....the plant next to the motel we owned and lived at blew up too. One never knows when things are going to happen.

That is not the ultimate concern here, yes it was an issue but as another said after your unnecessary comment, the 'industrial complex' was built way before the playground, nursing home, middle school, and apartment complex were built. It is unbelievable that you are worried about the placement of buildings and not about the situation, people are injured and deceased.

Prayers and condolences go out to those of West! Such a tragedy.

Agreed! Wise and kind words. Thank you.

And to the folks flapping your jaws without knowing what you're talking about first, well we have a name for your type down here in Texas. Most Texans are smart enough not to start flappin our jaws and letting their tongues loose without getting the facts right first. We would appreciate some of the same consideration from our friends to the North. Especially when so many people have died and have been hurt. Be kind.

So......since you are so appalled, I would think you know exactly where all possible time bombs are in your neighborhood.? Towns are usually after industry. So be fair and know the facts before you present YOUR ignorance upon the situation. Don't mess wit Texas. We are close knit here. So .....

Typically a town is built around the industry that supports the citizens of the town . The community puts homes, schools, and parks where they are easily accessable to the workers in the industry.

Pray for the families.

sorry for the double post. :)

Watch Fox News. They report ALL the news.

wow. you maybe should get out more. Better yet, look the word propaganda up in the dictionary. NONE, aka ZERO % of the main stream media report "all" the news as you put it.

Watch Fox News and you'll get ALL the news.

wow. you're kidding right? being sarcastic? If not, you maybe should get out more. Better yet, look the word propaganda up in the dictionary. NONE, aka ZERO % of the main stream media report "all" the news as you put it.

It is absolutely appalling how this "time bomb" was allowed to be only 200 ft from a playground, 250 from local middle school, 350 to a apartment complex, 500 to a nursing home!! CNN and the rest of the media haven't mentioned the insanity here. City Zoning putting their most vulnerable right next to this industrial complex, that was just a massive accident waiting to happen. (We informed CNN!)

What the H...since you have no idea how long that plant had been there or the things around it or anything about that little towns p&z or lack of it why don't you cut everyone some slack?

It is absolutely appalling how this "time bomb" was allowed to be only 200 ft from a playground, 250 from local middle school, 350 to a apartment complex, 500 to a nursing home!! CNN and the rest of the media haven't mentioned the insanity here. City Zoning putting their most vulnerable right next to this industrial complex, that was just a massive accident waiting to happen. (We informed CNN!)

I was thinking the same thing. Why is it so close to those places.

Does anyone else see that? Right before the explosion, a bright flash streaks in from the left like a missile and then the explosion! What the hell was that?

I'm not an expert but it looks like it was an initial explosion that triggered the bigger explosion. It happens so fast and the big explosion is so loud that you only hear one by the time the sound reaches the phone.

I watched it 20 times and have not seen anything remotely resembling a missile or a flash before the explosion. However, during the explosion, you can see streaks - which would be flaming debris. Please don't start any more conspiracy theories... Alex Jones and his Boston bs running rampant on the internet is quite enough.

Please go to youtube and watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XtKIEG4W0Y It slows the video down and you can clearly see something odd to the left of the smoke right before the explosion.

Does anyone else see that?

Flashpoint where the gases in the smoke itself (left) ignited.

My prayers are with all EMS workers, friends and families-form OTTAWA ONTARIO CANADA

So Texas is big on everything but brains...who had the great idea to put a fertilizer plant next door to a nursing home or vice versa? I am sad that the people of West TX were not protected from such stupidity by the simple creation and implementation of zoning laws.

Have you ever lived in Texas? What an asinine comment about a great state! Sure it is a tragic issue. There are plenty of examples of corporate-maliciousness and negligence all over the USA. Your observation is arrogant and misleading. DLoo

Have you ever lived in Texas? What an asinine comment. There are plenty of dumb examples of corporate-maliciousness all over the US. Sure, it's a sad issue, but your comment is pretty arrogant.
DLoo

So one explosion and the entire state of Texas is stupid? I take great offense to that being a lifelong TX resident! The zoning should have been better as well of your choice of wording.

The plant has been there for years. The city should have never allowed the school, nursing home, or residences to be built so close to it.

Are the people who filmed this video ok???!!??!?

The man and his 2 daughters were fine. They were shown on the coverage this morning. The little girl who said she cant hear is fine also.

Praying for all who are injured, the first responders, the Drs. and nurses, and the nurses and especially for the families and friends of the dead. God Be With You All God Bless America

Hmm. Friday will be the 20th anniversary of the storming of the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco that left 76 people dead.

That was the first thing that came to mind last night as I read this!

Tragic. Unbelievable loss.

IT'S HAPPENING.

Heard blast in Barry, 75102, thought it was sudden gust of wind as trailer house shook and floor rumbled. Now worried about ammonia and wind direction. My skin feels burning.

OMG!! I used to live in Blooming Grove so I know exactly where you are!! Can't believe you felt the explosion from there...praying for all affected and hope the effects go away with the storms about to hit y'all!!

Where is the original video? It was very scary.

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