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Hundreds Hurt, Dozens Feared Dead After Fertilizer Plant Explosion--West, Texas

Society & Culture  (tags: americans, children, death, Explosion, Fire, Fertilizer factory, West, Texas )

- 2013 days ago -
A raging fire, followed by a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in North Texas has devastated a small community. The plant is located in West, Texas, a small town of about 2,800 people, 18 miles north of Waco - 80 miles south of Dallas.


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Kit B (276)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 5:27 am

Information is being updated every 15 minutes or so, with the fires still burning there is limited action by first responders or police. As soon as possible the investigation of this disaster will begin. Below is a short article with a full range of photos. (Visit Site)

A raging fire, followed by a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in North Texas has devastated a small community. The plant is located in West, Texas, a small town of about 2,800 people, 18 miles north of Waco. As many as 60 homes and local businesses, including a nearby nursing home, were "severely damaged," with some residents killed or tapped inside. The explosion is also believed to have claimed the lives of several firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders who were on the scene to battle the initial blaze. The current estimate of casualties is pegged at 170 wounded and 5-15 people killed, although those numbers could rise dramatically. We'll continue to update this post throughout the day as more information becomes available.

THE LATEST (7:45 a.m. ET): Reuters has released some stunning photos of the devastation at the plant, taken by photographer Mike Stone. (The AP has some new ones too.)

Photo journal and story by: Adam Clark Estes and Dashiell Bennett | The Atlantic Wire |


Kit B (276)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 5:36 am

The town of West, Texas is located around the Interstate Highway I 35, the major North/South artery for travel in Texas. The town has a small population of about 2,500, few if any families will escape being affected by this explosion, which hit between 2.1 and 2.5 on the US GS Richter Scale. People 70 miles away felt the tremors from the explosion which released a massive "mushroom" type cloud. The fire has been burning since about 7:30pm CST and continues through to this morning. Homes, businesses and possibly one school have been flattened, fire fighters and police have been going "house to house" to find those who may be in need of medical attention. At last report, the estimate was 5-15 first responders may be deceased, 160 confirmed treated at local hospitals. Though I fear those numbers may increase as morning gives more access to information.

JL A (281)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 7:15 am
A tragedy for the community in many ways given that this plant was probably one of the largest employers in town. Our thoughts, prayers--whatever is true for our personal beliefs--will be with West as they cope with their losses and recovery.

Fiona O (562)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 9:11 am
Such dreadful news. Few things are more explosive than agricultural chemicals. My heart is with the people effected.

Elle B (84)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 9:54 am
Thank-you for posting. ...left home right before the story broke yesterday returned late in evening to see the thru the night coverage of this devastating event. ...have had the same concerns about the numbers...hoping for the best. Heart to all in West. . .

Pat B (356)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 10:39 am
Yes, this is up the road off I35N, little past Waco, ways up from Austin. My deepest sympathies to this little town, it's families, and condolences to those lives lost. What a tragedy.!!! Thanks, Kit for this.

Dee C (229)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 10:42 am
My goodness..I was still reeling from the bomb in Boston..when I heard this on the news..It was horrible to hear..
My heart and positive thought go out to all of those effected by this terrible tragedy,,
The news has been so conflicting with what is really going on..

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 10:44 am
Thank you for posting this tragic news. I'm praying for the people of West Texas. (N, P, T)

Barbara F (47)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 11:24 am
Noted. Thanks Kit. What a horrible tragedy! I have friends near there and heard from them last night. SO HAPPY they weren't hurt, but so many were.

pam w (139)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 11:31 am
I can't imagine what it's like to live in a town where you're living on top of a potential BOMB!

Kit B (276)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 12:30 pm

The media must be elated, they have the bombing in Boston, the explosion in Texas, the Morons in the Senate, and if that were not enough a huge sink hole in Chicago. I just keep wondering who if anyone will tie all of this together? Lack of funds spent on the real things that government is supposed to do, like inspections for fertilizer plants or roads in trouble, is ignored in favor of the "no government" twits.

lee e (114)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 1:18 pm
This has been an astonishing week of terrible news, one worse than the next! I'm so terribly saddened by this small town's tragedy - everybody knows everybody in a town that size, usually in towns this size the police and fire depts. are manned by people living in the town - how devastating the numbers of people effected - my heart goes out to them and sympathy to those who have lost family members!
Thanks Kit for saving me from posting a cynical comment - you just about took the words out of my mouth - what a sad day!

Sherri G (128)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 2:02 pm
This was almost too much to process with so many lives effected likely forever again within days of Boston. My heart goes out to all those families in West Texas and Boston. I agree with you Kit. Our government has been hijacked by corporations. We must do everything in our power to hold the government accountable when they fail to work for the people as highlighted by Pres. Obama and Nancy Pelosi denying 2million petition signatures telling them NO CHAIN CPI. This case where are government regulator to follow up on the 2006 fines for failure to have an adequate safety plan. So much to do so little time.

Barbara K (62)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 3:35 pm
What a terrible tragedy. It is so sad for those involved. Saw so much on TV that it is so shocking to absorb. Thank you, my dear friend.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 3:50 pm
Sometimes there are just no words.

marie C (163)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 4:34 pm

This is almost too much to bear

Laurie H (818)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 8:35 pm
The magnitude of suffering knows no end lately!!!! So upsetting beyond belief, Thank you so much Kit for posting~~

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 8:59 pm
Frightening and unnerving all the tragedies that take place.

Rose Becke (141)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 11:41 pm

Debbie G (306)
Friday April 19, 2013, 3:37 am
Very sad, and even sadder that all of this flammable and explosive fertilizer was stored the way it was. There are enough natural disasters to more than go around; humans should not be creating other disasters.

Judy C (91)
Friday April 19, 2013, 8:16 pm
Such reckless disregard for workers is shameful and disgusting. This week in the news is enough to give us all PTSD! I medicate myself generously with music as an antidote.

. (0)
Friday April 19, 2013, 8:39 pm
Terrible thing to have happened. Those poor people!

Kerryn Ayton (11)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 4:01 am
Noted. Thank you for sharing & updating this tragic story.

paul m (93)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 5:48 am

Sadly noted..but why build so many houses near the "plant" ? Can this happen else where ?

Lois Jordan (63)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:14 pm
How horribly devastating for West, TX. Very sorry this happened. Just read that this factory hadn't been inspected in 5 yrs.
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