The tragedy in Texas

KTVB: If you’re wondering about a loved one in the West, Texas area, a hotline has been set up. Call 254-202-1100


The remains of a fertilizer plant burn after an explosion at the plant in the town of West, near Waco, Texas early April 18, 2013. Credit: REUTERS/Mike Stone


Satellite view showing location of West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas.

  • Reuters: Officials said a full assessment of property damage would not come until after dawn. Wilson said 50 to 75 homes were damaged by the explosion and a fire that followed, and a nearby 50-unit apartment complex had been reduced to “a skeleton standing up.” Muska put the number of destroyed homes at between 60 and 80. Wilson said 133 people had been evacuated from the nursing home, which was heavily damaged, but it was not immediately clear how many residents of the facility were hurt. A middle school in town also was heavily damaged.
  • ABC: The blast even registered as a 2.1 magnitude seismic event, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was felt 20 to 30 miles away, witnesses said, and near the plant burned buildings, knocked down people, blew out windows…
  • HuffPo: Among those believed to be dead: Three to five volunteer firefighters and a single law enforcement officer who responded to a fire call at the West Fertilizer Co. shortly before the blast.
  • WSJ: 133 people were removed from an assisted-living facility near the blast site. More than 100 people were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, according to local television reports.

Residents are evacuated from a nursing home that was extensively damaged by a Texas explosion
Residents are evacuated from a nursing home extensively damaged by the explosion. The blast was heard from 45 miles away. Photograph: Rod Aydelotte/AP

  • HuffPo: William Burch and his wife, a retired Air Force nurse, entered the damaged nursing home before first responders arrived. They split up, searching separate wings, and found residents in wheelchairs trapped in their rooms. The halls were dark and the ceilings had collapsed. Water filled the hallways and electrical wires hung eerily from the ceilings. “They had Sheetrock that was on top of them. You had to remove that,” Burch said. It was “completely chaotic.”
  • NBC: Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco said it treated 101 patients and admitted 28. Five of them were in the intensive care unit, two in critical condition. Emergency room Dr. Bradford Holland said injuries included skull and leg fractures and large cuts. Providence Hospital in Waco said it had received 65 patients, many with abrasions and broken bones and some in respiratory distress, apparently because of chemical or smoke inhalation.


A photo from Twitter user @TitansHomer shows a destroyed apartment complex

  • HuffPo: In the hours after the blast, residents wandered the dark, windy streets searching for shelter. Among them was Julie Zahirniako, who said she and her son, Anthony, had been playing at a school playground near the fertilizer plant when the explosion hit. She was walking the track, he was kicking a football. The explosion threw her son four feet in the air, breaking his ribs. She said she saw people running from the nursing home and the roof of the school lifted into the sky. “Hit the ground, hit the ground,” Zahirniako heard a neighbor yell
  • CSB.gov: A Chemical Safety Board team is scheduled to arrive in West, Texas Thursday afternoon.
  • SkyNews: American Red Cross crews from across Texas are being sent to the site. The number of people arriving in the town offering assistance has become a logistical problem in itself, emergency workers say. They are also anticipating further disruption later, with heavy thunderstorms and potential tornadoes forecast in the area.

KTVB: If you’re wondering about a loved one in the West, Texas area, a hotline has been set up. Call 254-202-1100

A fire still burns in a apartment complex near the explosion
A fire still burns in a apartment complex destroyed near a fertilizer plant that exploded earlier in West, Texas, in this photo made early Thursday morning, April 18, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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One thought on “The tragedy in Texas

  1. That bottom photo from the hilltop is not West, TX. It is Sweetwater, TX 2008.

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