Firefighters and Civilians Injured in West (TX) Plant Explosion

9:30 P.M.: West Mayor Tommy Muska (http://dallasne.ws/10lSovp) said teams have found eight to 10 bodies and expect to find at least a half dozen more at the West Fertilizer Co. facility when they can search those grounds.

Muska said state responders, who have helped organize the search and rescue operation, told him that 80 percent of the devastated areas, including a nursing home and 50-unit apartment complex, have been searched so far.

7:00 P.M.: Dallas Fire-Rescue captain Kenny Harris confirmed dead in the West Fertilizer Co. explosion. Harris lived in West and worked as a firefighter at Station 30 in Dallas.

KVUE (http://bit.ly/17sYRBV) reports that Harris was not a volunteer firefighter for West but responded when he heard news of the fire that broke out Wednesday night at the plant. Harris, 52, was a father of three grown sons.

6:45 P.M.: An official death toll has not yet been released, but the Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/11mb2yE) that Mayor Tommy Muska said 35 to 40 people are believed to be dead in a massive fertilizer plant explosion “because they are unaccounted for and still missing.”

“We are out there searching the rubble, looking in each and every house. We are trying to locate each and every citizen,” Mayor Tommy Muska said in a telephone interview.

Muska said he arrived at the count of 35 to 40 dead because all other residents and first-responders in the area have been identified. Among those who were missing and believed dead, he said, were as many as six firefighters and four emergency medical technicians.

6:00 P.M.: Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes backed away from earlier police statements that five to 15 people died in the explosion, reports The Waco Tribune Herald (http://bit.ly/13ki2NG). He said he only could confirm fatalities occurred.

He also was unable to confirm earlier reports that three to five volunteer firefighters remained missing.

2:15 P.M.: The mayor of West, himself a volunteer firefighter, told the Associated Press (http://wapo.st/ZAkr3W) that firefighters went to fight a fire at a fertilizer plant about a half-hour before before the explosion. Mayor Tommy Muska said the blast badly damaged buildings for a five-block radius around the plant, including a nearby middle school and nursing home. He says the nursing home’s 133 residents were safely evacuated.

10:50 A.M.: The search continues for survivors of last night’s deadly fertilizer blast in West, Texas. CNN says several firefighters are still unaccounted for after the blast, and more than 160 people were injured. The U.S Chemical Safety Board has deployed members to the scene.


Cell-phone video of the fire and blast.

8:55 A.M.: An emergency management official from the area told CNN that two EMS personnel are surely dead, and there may be three firefighters that are also dead (http://bit.ly/10kkLde).

7:00 A.M.: CNN reports that between 5-15 people are dead, but the full extent of the devastation has yet to be understood (http://bit.ly/Z4OynD).

5:15 AM West Mayor Tommy Muska says (http://hrld.us/13mT981) there were five or six volunteer firefighters battling the blaze at the West Fertilizer plant when the explosion happened just before 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Muska, who is a volunteer firefighter himself, says not all of his fellow firefighters are accounted for.

4/18/2013, 5:00 AM An updated injury toll from ABC News (http://abcn.ws/Zt08si)  a total of 179 people hospitalized with 10 additional people in triage. At least 24 are in critical condition, nine of which are burn victims sent to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. A number of deaths has not been released.

12:30 AM Dr. George Smith, the emergency management system director of the city, confirmed with CNN (http://bit.ly/Z4OynD) the deaths of two EMS personnel.

He said that fire officials fear that the number of casualties could rise much higher — as many as 60 to 70 dead

11:45 PM ABC News reports that the explosion has injured 200 people.

Of the 200 people injured, 40 were injured critically, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson said. It was unclear whether or not there were deaths.

 75 to 100 houses and business were completely destroyed in and around the plant.

11:30 PM CNN (http://bit.ly/ZASMPn) reports that the hospital has been told to anticipate 100 injured.

Glenn Robinson, CEO of Hillcrest Hospital, said a field triage station was being set up on a football field near the plant.

“We have had a steady flow of patients coming in by ambulance as well as by private vehicles,” Robinson told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

More than 40 patients were received as of 11 p.m. ET, Robinson said, suffering from “blast injuries, orthopedic injuries (and) a lot of lacerations. While some of the injuries are minor, others are “quite serious,” he said.

11:15 PM A spokeswoman for State Highway Patrol told ABC News Radio (http://abcn.ws/YwmYvC) firefighters were on the scene of a structure fire when the explosion happened. “They are still on scene, assessing the scene, treating the injuries, taking injured to the hospitals.”

At least 10 buildings are on fire.

Audio: Dispatch call after the explosion | Video: Explosion caught on camera

Several firefighters and others were injured in a fertilizer plant explosion in West (TX), located north of Waco, shortly before 8 p.m., reports the Waco Tribune (http://bit.ly/10iPsjd).

Multiple buildings were reported to be on fire after the explosion at West Fertilizer Co. and a dispatcher calling for ambulances said “we do have a lot of injured here.”

A stream of emergency vehicles, including ambulances, sheriff’s deputies, and other emergency vehicles, poured into the town shortly after the explosion.

Bill Bohannan, who was visiting his parents at their house in West, is quoted as saying “It knocked us into the car… Every house within about four blocks is blown apart.”

Check back for updates as story is developing…

No posts to display