Massive blast rocks Texas fertilizer plant

April 18, 2013A massive explosion has rocked a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas. Hundreds of people were likely injured, state official says. A nursery home was destroyed by the blast and numerous buildings were damaged.

06:35 GMT: 172 people confirmed hospitalized, 24 people in critical condition, 38-40 people in serious condition and 23 more people en route to be admitted to local hospitals, ABC News reported. 

06:29 GMT: Over 100 patients are being treated in two local hospitals, according to media reports. 

06:20 GMT: All roads around the impact zone are blocked off, except to emergency vehicles, NBC reported.

06:10 GMT: Fire is believed to have started in an anhydrous ammonia tank before it spread to the rest of the plant buildings, local media reported. 

06:06 GMT: Mayor of West Tommy Muska told residents to stay inside because of the hydrous gas in the air.

05:56 GMT:

05:25 GMT: “Probably over 100 injuries,” while the number of fatalities remains unknown, says DPS' DL Wilson.

05:21 GMT: According to the DPS, they may have to evacuate the other side of town when the north wind comes through.

05:17 GMT: USGS registered the fertilizer plant explosion as a 2.1 magnitude quake.

05:15 GMT: Rescue services request that no more volunteers come to the scene to join the effort, since they would only impede the operation.

Screenshot from AP Video
Screenshot from AP Video

05:06 GMT: Plant is still smoldering, firefighters have difficulties getting to it to extinguish the remaining fires. Toxic fumes are rising from the site, says Department of Public Safety.

05:06 GMT: The apartment complex most affected by the disaster is “a skeleton” with 50 to 75 residences damaged. Rescuers are doing house-to-house search for victims, DPS says.

05:04 GMT: The 133 people from the nursing home were evacuated and taken to local hospitals, Department of Public Safety reports.

screenshot fro youtube video by user zidyboby
screenshot fro youtube video by user zidyboby

04:58 GMT: Most of the firefighter team that immediately responded to the fire at the chemical plant is unaccounted for, West’s mayor says. Four to five of them are missing.

04:55 GMT: The Texas explosion injured at least 200 people, 40 of them critically, Department of Public Safety spokesperson says, according to ABC.

04:43 GMT: HazMat squads have been deployed in the area to analyze the environment forpossible toxins.

04:42 GMT: A nursing home and a middle school reportedly caught on fire. Thankfully, the school was out of session.

04:34 GMT: People are coordinating the relief effort over Twitter, compiling a list of those willing toprovide housing to those who lost their homes in the explosion. There are also calls to donate blood to local hospitals.

4:21 GMT: "It was like a bomb went off" - West Mayor.

4:20 GMT: Approximately 50 homes, one school, an apartment complex and a nursing home have been completely leveled.

4:18 GMT: KWTX reporter tells KHOU that the town of West is being evacuated partly for fear of toxic fumes currently spread around the area.

4:15 GMT: The Mayor of West says the fire is under control.

4:10 GMT:   @Newyorkist says Houston's KHOU station removed its tweet claiming that 70 people were confirmed dead in the Texas explosion. 

4:08 GMT: West, Texas Mayor Tommy Muska tells NBC he had no information on exact casualty numbers as of 12:05 EST, but that the plant was "fully engulfed" in flames before it exploded.

4:00 GMT: Sixty-one people have been admitted to the Hilcrest Hospital in Waco. Twelve currently are in critical condition, said Hiclrest's CEO to CNN.

3:48 GMT: Law enforcement is advising residents in West to leave town immediately for fear of secondary explosion at fertilizer plant.

3:40 GMT: 70 people are believed to be be dead, including five firefighters and one police officer. The FAA has placed a temporary flight restriction over the surrounding airspace.

3:35 GMT: Dr. George Smith, Director of West EMS, told KWTX he believes there are between 60 and 70 people dead.

3:34 GMT: Between 75-100 homes and businesses have been completely destroyed with the number injured exceeding 200, as per ABC News.

3:30 GMT: The football field that was being used as an emergency command center and helicopter landing pad has been evacuated due to fears of a second explosion.

http://rt.com/usa/explosion-texas-fertilizer-plant-038/

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