Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fertilizer plant explosion rocks Texas town

WACO, Texas — An explosion Wednesday night at a fertilizer plant near Waco sent flames shooting high into the sky, leaving the factory a smoldering ruin, causing major damage at nearby buildings and injuring numerous people.

The blast at the plant in West, a community north of Waco, happened shortly before 8 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles north.

Several fires continued to burn in West two hours after the blast. In aerial footage from Dallas' NBC affiliate, WDFW, dozens of emergency vehicles could be seen amassed at the scene. The roads around West were jammed with emergency vehicles rushing in to help.

Authorities set up a staging area on the local high school's football field, which was lit up with floodlights. Ambulances and several dozen injured people could be seen being taken away or seated in wheelchairs as they are treated and await transport.

Department of Public Safety troopers used their squad cars to transport the injured, Gayle Scarbrough, a spokeswoman for the department's Waco office, told television station KWTX. She said six helicopters were also en route to help out.

The explosion knocked out power to many area customers and could be heard and felt for miles around.

Lydia Zimmerman told KWTX she and her family were in their garden in Bynum, 13 miles from West, when she heard multiple blasts. "It sounded like three bombs going off very close to us," she said.

Fertilizer plant explosion rocks Texas town 04/17/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.