Texas Blast Kills 70, Foul Play not Ruled Out

World | April 18, 2013, Thursday // 12:35|  views

The blast at a fertilizer plant in Texas has killed as many as 70 people and between 100-200 are reported injured, some are in critical condition. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Police in Texas, US, cannot rule out a criminal act as the cause of the massive explosion that rocked the Texas town of West Wednesday at approximately 7:50 pm.

The investigation is working on two leads – bomb/arson or an incident related to a chemical reaction.

A local police chief is quoted saying at an emergency briefing that the cause remains unknown.

It was reported meanwhile that the blast has killed as many as 70 people and between 100-200 were injured, some are in critical condition.

There was also an ongoing fire at a fertilizer plant and ammonium nitrate later exploded completely destroying 75 to 100 houses and businesses in and around the plant. A nursing home had collapsed in the explosion and some people were trapped inside. The local school has also sustained serious damages.

Shock waves were felt as far as Arlington, Texas, approximately 100 miles away.

Many of the first responders are believed to be among those injured and killed, with the remaining residents being evacuated due to concerns regarding ammonia emissions and the possibility of additional blasts.

The explosion occurred at a facility of the plant which has been closed for renovation and repair works. The huge fire has been tamed, but some employees remain trapped inside.

West, a town of about 2700 people, is located some 32km north of Waco. 

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Tags: blast, fertilizer plant, Texas, explosion, police, arson, bomb, West, Waco


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