Fertilizer Plant Explosion Update 6 p.m.News Thursday, April 18th, 2013
6 p.m. update
The Texas Department of Public Safety continues to be mum as to the specific number of deaths and if anyone was found today during the continuing search and rescue.
Sgt. Jason Reyes said search and rescue would continue non-stop.
11 a.m. update
Volunteers are manning a phone bank at the West Community Center for those who have questions or want to offer donations. The phone number is 254-826-4115.
Search and rescue crews include Texas Task Force One and Two, and a unit from Ft. Hood.
What was described as a “very methodical process” includes reinforcing buildings to make them safe enough to enter.
No change in the number of those believed to have died, the number hospitalized, and the number of unaccounted.
10 a.m. update
The search and rescue effort continues.
One of the first responders who had been unaccounted for has been found in a hospital with “pretty serious injuries.” Several volunteer firefighters remain missing. These are among the people who responded to a fire at the plant. The explosion occurred 25 minutes later.
More than 300 involved in the search and rescue have had to deal with looting. Residents in the blast zone are among those not being allowed to return at this time.
Fires continue to smolder, even after rainfall between 6 and 8 a.m. Anhydrous ammonia tanks near the remains of the plant remain a concern.
5 a.m. update
Authorities estimate between 5 and 15 people have died from last night’s explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, north of Waco.
The number of injured was updated at 160. The injured are at three hospitals in Waco.
Responders continue in a search and rescue mode, checking individual homes and businesses in the blast zone.
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