Thursday, April 18 2013 11:03 AM EDT2013-04-18 15:03:46 GMT
HOUSTON (AP) - Texas is no stranger to fertilizer-caused explosions. Exactly 66 years ago this week, what remains the nation's worst industrial disaster occurred just southeast of Houston when a seriesMore >>
Texas is no stranger to fertilizer-caused explosions.More >>
Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are converging on the scene of Wednesday evening's fertilizer plant explosion, near Waco. The death toll is also expected to rise as authorities begin what they say will be a lengthy investigation
In an early morning press conference, Waco Police Department officials said fatalities could be as high as 15, resulting from the massive blast at the West, Texas plant. Public Information Officer Sgt. Patrick Swanton said that number could climb, as more than 160 victims were transported to local hospitals with serious or critical injuries.
Sgt. Swanton also said two emergency workers were confirmed among the dead, and several volunteer firefighters immediately responding to the explosion are reported missing."
According to Sergeant Swanton, the massive blast at the fertilizer plant is being treated as a crime scene until the possibility of wrongdoing is ruled out. They are not saying a crime has occurred, but are not ruling it an industrial accident at this point.
Officials are carefully searching through the rubble in West, TX, for more victims trapped in houses after the major explosion at West Fertilizer devastated much of the small town's downtown area, including dozens of homes, a nursing home and a school. Officials say the blast shook the ground of this community of 2,800 people with the strength of a small earthquake.
Officials are still considering this a search and rescue effort instead of a recovery situation, saying they still hope to find more survivors in the rubble.
The first fire call came in around 7:23 p.m. Wednesday, with the explosion call coming in around 7:53 p.m., according to Swanton.
Air conditions have drastically improved, thanks in large part to early morning rain and winds. Officials are continuing to evacuate residents from the small Texas town. HAZMAT crews have been on the scene testing the air at various locations around the area and near the facility. Officials in Waco have confirmed that the air quality in Waco is fine and their is no need for parents of students that attend Baylor to be concerned.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending agency specialists to the site. The team includes fire investigators, explosive experts, chemists, and canine units.
A nursing home near the scene that was in the process of being evacuated because of the fire at the fertilizer plant when the explosion occurred has been cleared, according to the mayor of West, Tommy Mouska.
The Associated Press is reporting that a blood center that serves Central Texas hospitals says donors are greatly needed.
Carter BloodCare said in a statement Thursday that it is sending blood to hospitals treating patients from the explosion in West, near Waco. It says blood "will be in great demand over the next two weeks" as officials work to replenish supplies used after Wednesday's incident.
Saturday, August 30 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-08-30 23:17:41 GMT
A nine-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her instructor at a shooting range in Arizona earlier this week, and now people are wondering what the right age is for kids to be shooting guns. BuddyMore >>
After a nine year old girl accidentally shot and killed her instructor at a shooting range in Arizona, local shooting range owners and experienced shooters talk about safety measures when out shooting a gun.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:33:42 GMT
South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal wreck on Gun Range Road, between Wire Road and Highway 1.Troopers responded just after 1 p.m, according to the SCHP database.Additional details areMore >>
The Aiken Co. Coroner's Office confirmed Willis L. Purvis, 55, was returning home on his Suzuki motorcycle when he lost control of it, and was ejected. More >>
3933 Washington Road
Augusta, GA 30907