Updated: April 22, 2013, 10:00 a.m.
Fourteen people have been confirmed dead in the West Fertilizer plant explosion, many of them firefighters who has rushed to the fire at the plant before it had exploded. Several more bodies are expected to be recovered from the buildings yet to be searched, including the upper floors of a multi-story apartment complex, the Dallas Morning News reports Friday morning.
Gov. Rick Perry has declared a state disaster for the small central-Texas town. At least 150 buildings have been destroyed and 200 injuries have been reported.
[original story, April 18, 2013]
A massive explosion at a fertilizer factory near Waco, Texas, leveled four square blocks of homes and businesses, including the local nursing home. Rescuers evacuated all 133 residents from the facility, reports the Dallas Morning News.
Ceilings and interior walls collapsed in the West Rest Haven nursing home, trapping some residents under the Sheetrock. First-responders “found residents in wheelchairs trapped in their rooms. The halls were dark, and the ceilings had collapsed. Water filled the hallways. Electrical wires hung eerily from the ceilings,” according to a Huffington Post article.
The blast and its subsequent fires killed between five and 15 people, and injuring more than 160. At least three of the town’s volunteer firefighters were still missing as of this morning, reports the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Waco police stated today that the incident appears to be an industrial accident.
[Lower two photos by Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald]