***UPDATED: OFFICIAL DEATH TOLL BETWEEN 5 & 15, BUT COULD GO HIGHER –Explosion at fertilizer plant in Texas

***UPDATE 14 AT BOTTOM OF POST***

Considering what’s been going on lately I thought I should report on this. Let’s hope and pray it isn’t as bad as it sounds:

***UPDATE: Many people are said to be trapped:

***UPDATE 2: People trapped inside nursing home:

***UPDATE 3: Here is a more detailed report from KWTX:

Emergency crews were responding Wednesday night after a report of a major explosion at a burning fertilizer plant in West north of Waco.

West firefighters were dispatched to the plant earlier in the evening after an earlier fire rekindled.

The explosion was reported at around 7:50 p.m. in a frantic radio call from the scene of the fire at West Fertilizer at 1471 Jerry Mashek Dr. just off Interstate 35.

Numerous injuries were reported and multiple ambulances were requested.

Several buildings were reported destroyed and a nearby nursing home was damaged.

There were reports that people were trapped in the nursing home and in an apartment building.

Scanner traffic indicated that some residents of both the nursing home and apartment building were severely injured.

Department of Public Safety troopers transported some victims to hospitals in patrol cars, said Gayle Scarbrough at the DPS Communications Center in Waco…

Six helicopters were en route to West and will land at the baseball field on Tokio Road, south of town, said Gayle Scarbrough, Department of Public Safety Communications in Waco.

A number of buildings were reported to be burning, some in residential areas and evacuations were underway.

West Middle School was one of the buildings reported to be on fire.

Injured victims were being taken to area hospitals.

An officer was dispatched to provide crowd control at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, which issued a call to all staffers to report.

The explosion knocked out power to a large area of the community.

Oncor’s online outage site showed more than a thousand customers without power.

***UPDATE 4: Still people trapped, also new images of explosion



***UPDATE 5: Firefighters fighting small fire when explosion occurred:

***UPDATE 6: Here’s another photo of the fire:

***UPDATE 7: CNN is reporting via Spokesman for Texas Dept. for Public Safety that a nearby nursing home has collapsed and people may be trapped. Also homes reportedly ‘blown away’:

***UPDATE 8: Apparently this thing may explode again and they are warning people in a 30 mile radius to evacuate now:

***UPDATE 9: Here’s a video of the explosion. I don’t know how anyone could survive that (via KWKT):

***UPDATE 10: Getting reports (not official) of around 130 injured and anywhere from 5 to 70 reportedly dead:

***UPDATE 11: A report attributed to FOX of 5 firefighers and 1 police officer dead:

***UPDATE 12: 75 confirmed dead via KHOU:

KWTX is reporting that 70 people are confirmed dead. CNN says those deaths include five firefighters and one police officer. Hundreds of others are wounded in the town with a population of about 2,800.

***UPDATE 13: Dad records video of blast at fertilizer plant. Very scary:

***UPDATE 14: The official death toll as of this morning is being reported at between 5 and 15 people, but warnings are that it could increase, according to Fox News:

Police say between five to fifteen people were killed and more than 160 were injured in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas, late Wednesday. …

A member of the city council, Al Vanek, said a four-block area around the explosion was “totally decimated.” Other witnesses compared the scene to that of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and authorities said the plant made materials similar to that used to fuel the bomb that tore apart that city’s Murrah Federal Building.

The USGS reported that the blast registered a 2.1 on the Richter scale.

“They are still getting injured folks out and they are evacuating people from their homes,” Waco Police Department Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said early Thursday. “At this point, we don’t know a number that have been killed … I think we will see those fatalities increase as we get toward the morning.”

Swanton said authorities believe that between five and 15 people were killed in the blast, but stressed that’s an early estimate as search and rescue operations remain underway. There is no indication the blast was anything other than an industrial accident, he said. Several firefighters are still missing.

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