Texas: Fertilizer plant blast injures hundreds
An explosion from a fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas (north of Waco) on Wednesday left hundreds injured and some trapped in buildings. A nursing home, a middle school and private homes were among the buildings damaged in the subsequent blaze.
AP Photo/ Waco Tribune Herald, Rod Aydelotte
Hundreds of people were likely injured in a fiery explosion on Wednesday night at a fertilizer plant near¬†Waco, Texas, that damaged or destroyed numerous buildings including a nursing home, authorities said.
The blast was reported at about 8 p.m. CDT (0100 GMT on Thursday) in West, a town of some 2,700 people about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of¬†Dallas¬†and 20 miles (32 km) north of¬†Waco.
A spokesman for the Texas¬†Department of Public Safety, D.L. Wilson, told Reuters the blast had probably caused "hundreds of casualties" and damaged many homes.
He added that a nearby nursing home collapsed from the explosion and that people were believed trapped inside.
A Reuters reporter observed that a middle school and several homes in the area appeared to have been severely burned.
More than 100 people injured in the blast and fire were being taken to¬†Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center¬†in¬†Waco, said vice president of hospital operations¬†David Argueta.
Governor¬†Rick Perry¬†issued a statement saying his office had "mobilized state resources to help local authorities" deal with the incident.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman, Tim Gaynor and David Bailey; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Xavier Briand)