A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant sent a tremor through the small Texas town of West Wednesday evening, with impact of the blast being felt as many as 80 miles away.
Up to 15 people have been reported dead, with injuries sustained by 160. The incident happened at the West Fertilizer Company, and five of the first volunteer firemen to arrive on the scene are missing.
“We need your prayers,” said Tommy Muska, West’s mayor. “There’s a lot of people that got hurt. There’s a lot of people, I’m sure, will not be here tomorrow.”
About half of the town has been evacuated, and the total extent of the damage is still being determined. The exact reason for the incident is unconfirmed, but initial reports say a fire started it, and the obvious combustibility of fertilizer led to the explosion.
The Dallas NBC affiliate has much more, and will continue to update throughout the day.