Many feared dead and at least 172 injured in explosion at plant that damaged nursing home, school and homes.
Firefighters were battling a blaze at the time of the blast. Multiple officials confirmed that fatalities in the explosion, but wouldn’t give any early numbers. Some sources however put the number of deaths at 70.
West Emergency Medical Services director Dr George Smith said that 60 to 70 people may have been killed in the explosion.
“We know fire was there, we know law enforcement was there assisting with traffic, and I believe there were EMS …,” Sgt. William Patrick Swanton of the Waco, Texas, Police Department said. “There may be firefighters that are unaccounted for and potentially a law enforcement officer as well.”
It is the “most devastating thing that’s happened to this community,” West Mayor Tommy Muska said at a news conference.
“We need your prayers,” Muska said. “There’s a lot of people that are hurt. And there’s a lot of people that I’m sure are not going to be here tomorrow…It’s a cross across our hearts.”