Texas plant blast toll rises to 14

Last Updated: Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 10:39

Zee Media Bureau

Houston: Two more bodies were reportedly recovered from a fertilizer plant in central Texas increasing the toll of the victims to 14.

At least 200 people have been injured and 60 people are still missing after a massive explosion took place at a fertilizer plant, as per a BBC report.

The explosion was strong enough to register as a small earthquake and reportedly demolished nearly everything for several blocks around the plant.

The fertilizer plant explosion leveled buildings, ripped up walls and threw people on the ground blocks away.

At least three rescue trucks and one fire truck were also destroyed, an indication of how many firefighters had rushed to the scene on Wednesday to fight the fire that was burning in the fertilizer facility.

"This is still being treated as a crime scene," he said.

Five West firefighters, one Dallas firefighter and four emergency responders were killed, the State Firemen`s and Fire Marshals` Association of Texas said in a statement yesterday.

Despite coming to the terms, the residents of this small town, with a population of 2800, are perplexed and dumbfound for answers. The blast stunned residents and left behind a trail of charred devastation in the small town.

About half the town was evacuated, including a nursing home with 133 residents. It was still unclear what the exact number of casualties was.

Federal and state investigators were awaiting clearance to enter the blast area to search for clues to the cause of both the initial fire and explosions.

Texas Gov Rick Perry, declaring the town a disaster area, said the earthquake-like explosion will likely affect every citizen of this tightly knit community of some 2,500 people located just off Interstate 35.

He said President Obama called him from Air Force One en route to Boston on Thursday to offer federal assistance.

While the cause of the blast is not clear, ammonium nitrate used in many such farm applications is explosive and often used to build deadly roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

(With PTI Inputs)

First Published: Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 09:04

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