West Fertilizer Plant Explosion
A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small Texas town of West has left the small town with massive injuries and wrongful deaths. A citywide evacuation of the town of West with its’ 2,600 residents was immediately ordered.
The blast took place at the West Fertilizer Plant, about 18 miles north of Waco. The explosion sent a massive fireball into the sky, and the danger may not be over.
Residents of the town of West were evacuated because officials are worried that another tank at the facility might explode.
Immediately after the explosion, Texas State Troopers in gas masks were scene rushing to the area shortly after the blast.
Shortly after the explosion, more than 60 patients streamed into Hillcrest Hospital in Waco, suffering from "blast injuries, orthopedic injuries (and) a lot of lacerations," said hospital CEO Glenn Robinson.
The explosion occurred at 7:50 p.m. Witnesses reported seeing a huge blaze and flames leaping over the roof of a structure and a plume of smoke rising high into the air.
The West Fertilizer Plant is just north of Waco.
A school and a nursing home are among the buildings near the plant.
Tommy Alford, who works in a convenience store about three miles from the plant, told CNN that several volunteer firefighters were at the store when they spotted smoke. Alford said the firefighters headed toward the scene and then between five and 10 minutes later, he heard a massive explosion.
"It was massive; it was intense," Alford said.
Chrystal Anthony, a nearby resident, said she saw the flames engulf a nursing home and an apartment complex.
"It was an apartment complex that was devastated, the nursing home. The fire was close to a residential area," Anthony said.
"It was like a bomb went off," said Barry Murry, a resident who lives about a mile away from the plant. "There were emergency vehicles everywhere. It has been overwhelming."
West, Texas, is a community of about 2,800 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sitting about 75 miles south of Dallas and 120 miles north of Austin, West is one of 22 incorporated communities in McLennan County.
Some firefighters at the scene of a fertilizer plant explosion in Texas were concerned Wednesday night about anhydrous ammonia.