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Two More Bodies In Texas Explosion, Death Toll At 14

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A law enforcement official says two more bodies have been recovered in the wake of the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, bring the death toll from the blast to 14.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes did not say where the bodies were found but said more information would be provided later Friday.

He says the bodies will be sent to the Dallas County medical examiner's office for identification.

Reyes earlier announced that 12 bodies had been recovered by Friday morning and that search and rescue efforts were ongoing.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Federal investigators and the state fire marshal's office will be moving toward an inspection of the site of Wednesday's explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, looking for evidence that may point to a cause.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the investigation is starting at the perimeter of the explosion, and will work inward toward the destroyed fertilizer company itself.

As investigators move inward, authorities say, residents will gradually be allowed to return to their homes.

But the town of West won't easily recover. An apartment complex was badly shattered by the explosion. A school was set on fire and heavily damaged, and a nursing home was left in ruins.

Authorities confirmed today that the bodies of 12 people were recovered from the fertilizer plant and the surrounding area. The victims are believed to include a small group of first-responders who headed toward the plant to fight the fire that would apparently touch off the explosion.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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A Texas law enforcement official says 12 bodies have been recovered following a massive explosion that leveled a fertilizer plant.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes said Friday that about 200 people were injured in the explosion at facility Wednesday night in the small farming community of West, about 20 miles north of Waco.

Search and rescue crews have been sifting through the still-smoldering remains for survivors. That work continues. The blast crumpled dozens of homes, an apartment building, a school and a nursing home.

Authorities say there's no indication that the blast was anything other than an industrial accident sparked by a fire. The company has been cited for apparently minor safety and permitting violations over the past decade.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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West Mayor Tommy Muska told NBC News on Friday crews had recovered at least one firefighter's body after the chemicals settled near the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

Muska said Friday's efforts will focus on recovering those who may have been killed during the explosion in a nearby apartment building.

The Associated Press reports the search for victims of a fertilizer plant explosion continues this morning in the small town of West, Texas.

Right now, authorities say they don't have a firm number on the people killed in the Wednesday night explosion that also leveled neighborhoods surrounding the plant.

Some of the firefighters who were trying to put out a plant fire before the blast are believed to be among the dead, according to the AP.


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Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in his state "a truly nightmare scenario."

Authorities have said as many as 15 people are feared dead and more than 160 others were injured in the explosion that leveled homes and businesses in the farming community of West, Texas.

Perry emphasized during a Thursday morning news conference that much of the information about victims still is "very preliminary."

Witnesses are describing the impact of the explosion at the fertilizer plant.

Erick Perez was playing basketball at a nearby middle school yesterday evening when a fire started at the plant. He says he and his friends thought nothing of it, but then the smoke changed color. He says the blast threw him, his nephew and others to the ground, and showered the area with hot embers and debris.

Julie Zahirniako had been with her son at the school playground. She says the explosion threw her son four feet in the air, breaking his ribs.

She says she saw people running from a nearby nursing home, and that the roof of the school lifted into the sky.

The nursing home was also badly damaged. One man who arrived there before the first responders says he and his wife found residents in wheelchairs trapped in their rooms, amid dark hallways and ceilings that had collapsed.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Police in Texas say it's not clear how many people remain trapped in the rubble after a fertilizer plant explosion that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others.

Waco Police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton says early Thursday he doesn't know how many people have been rescued since the Wednesday night explosion in downtown West.

But he says officials on the ground remain in "search and rescue mode," going building to building in the largely decimated neighborhood surrounding the plant.

He says he knows some firefighters still are missing.

Swanton says a thunderstorm that rolled through the area early Thursday has helped in some ways, including tamping down chemicals released from the plant.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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WEST, Texas (AP) -- Police in Texas say between five and 15 people were killed in a fertilizer plant explosion that also injured more than 160 others.

Waco police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton said early Thursday morning that the death toll is only an estimate as search and rescue operations remain under way in downtown West.

An explosion Wednesday night shook the ground with the strength of a small earthquake in the community of 2,800 people located about 20 miles north of Waco.

Swanton says there is no indication the blast was anything other than an industrial accident.

The pope is using his Twitter account to ask followers to pray for victims of a fatal fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town.

In a message posted Thursday morning, Pope Francis said: "Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families."

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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The mayor of a Texas town where a fertilizer plant explosion injured more than 100 people says some firefighters who were battling a blaze when the blast happened aren't accounted for.

West Mayor Tommy Muska says there were five or six volunteer firefighters battling the blaze at the West Fertilizer plant when the explosion happened just before 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Muska, who is a volunteer firefighter himself, says not all of his fellow firefighters are accounted for. He says the blast knocked his helmet off and shattered the windows of his nearby home.

Authorities say an unknown number of people were killed in the blast, which leveled buildings for blocks in every direction.


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Authorities say an explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas, has injured several people.

A dispatcher with the West, Texas Fire Department says the explosion happened Wednesday night at a fertilizer plant in the community north of Waco. She says any casualties would be taken to hospitals in Waco.

Gayle Scarbrough, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety in Waco, told television station KWTX that DPS troopers have been transporting the injured to hospitals in their patrol cars. She says six helicopters were also en route.

KWTX reports that the explosion at West Fertilizer was reported at around 7:50 p.m. in a frantic call from the scene.


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