WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will attend a memorial service this week for the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, in what will be his latest foray as the country's comforter in chief.
Obama, who spoke at emotional services for victims of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and the bombing at the Boston Marathon, will participate in a ceremony on Thursday at Baylor University in Waco. He will go there after the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum outside Dallas on Thursday morning.
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, noted Monday that the president had publicly said that "our thoughts and our prayers are with the people of West, Texas, where so many good people lost their lives, some lost their homes, and many were injured and are still missing."
At least 14 people were killed when the West Chemical and Fertilizer Co. plant exploded on Wednesday night in West, not far from Waco. Most of the dead were firefighters or other emergency responders. About 200 others were injured.