Explosion and Fire At Fertilizer Plant in West, Texas [VIDEO]
An unconfirmed number of people are dead and 10 buildings are on fire following an explosion Wednesday evening at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, north of Waco.
12:31 a.m. CT The American Red Cross said teams from Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin will be coordinating with emergency officials in West to provide any needed assistance to town residents who will need help.
Evacuees were being directed to the community center in Abbott, about five miles north of West.
Schools in West will be closed on Thursday and Friday.
11:42 p.m. CT More contact numbers for family members: Providence Hospital 254-761-7600; Scott and White 1-888-394-4947.
UPDATE 11:32 p.m. CT During a press conference West,Texas Mayor Tommy Muska said the fires are under control. The mayor also said a nursing home near the fertilizer plant had "significant" damage. West said there was no official casualty count.
'We need your prayers," West said. "There's a lot of people that are hurt."
UPDATE 11:22 p.m. CT More shelters have opened for people looking for a safe place or shelter: Gholson ISD, American Legion Post-Elm Mott, Victorious Life Church, Abbott ISD Gym, and Bellmead Home Depot.
UPDATE 10:55 p.m. CT Residents looking for a safe place to seek refuge or shelter can go to Sykora Family Ford, Alliance Auto Auction, Blair's Cove Apartments, Latham Springs Inn,and Aquilla ISD. To inquire about relatives or loved ones in the area, call 254-202-1100.
UPDATE 10:40 p.m. CT At least 200 people are reported injured on the scene; 40 of them critically. According to officials, more than 75 homes have been destroyed.
UPDATE 10:16 p.m. CT Reports indicate that at least five people are dead. Scott & White Hospital is preparing to receive 100-200 patients from the fires. Over 1000 homes are currently without power in West. Texas Governor Rick Perry has released a statement: "We have mobilized state resources to help local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West"
Videos of the explosion here:
Footage of plant explosion [language warning]
Multiple fire departments and emergency crews were on the scene responding Wednesday night at the plant just off Interstate 35.
The explosion at West Fertilizer at 1471 Jerry Mashek Drive was reported at around 7:50 p.m. CT, and could be felt as far as 65 miles away.The fire reportedly started in an ammonia tank and quickly spread.
The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed there were multiple injuries on the scene.Reports indicate that two children are trapped in a neighboring apartment complex.
More details as they become available.
This post has been updated throughout to reflect new information