But residents of the small Texas town of West already know what to expect.
And exposure to high concentrations can lead to death.
are lots of houses that are leveled within a two block radius, Smith said. lot of other homes are damaged as well outside that radius.
we are hearing is that there is one fertilizer tank that is still intact at the plant, and there are evacuations in place to make sure everyone gets away from the area safely in case of another explosion, said Ben Stratmann, a spokesman for Texas State Sen. Brian Birdwell.
It sent a massive fireball into the sky. Flames leaped over the roof of a structure and a plume of smoke rose high into the air.
windows came in on me, the roof came in on me, the ceiling came, Smith, the EMS director, said.
The blast stripped the apartment complex, with 50 units, of its walls and windows. was just a skeleton standing up, Wilson said.
a really rough number, I getting that figure from firefighters, we don know yet, he said. have two EMS personnel that are dead for sure, and there may be three firefighters that are dead. Thursday morning, firefighters painstakingly combed through houses, many reduced to rubble.
we know this is an accident we will conduct this as a crime scene, Swanton said. at this point indicates we have had criminal activity, but we are not ruling that out. in the sky
Many suffered from injuries, orthopedic injuries (and) a lot of lacerations. remains
as high as 60 to 70 dead, said Dr. George Smith, the emergency management system director of the city.
If the winds shift, the other half of the town will have to be evacuated as well.
didn know exactly what it was, he said. forecast said a line of thunderstorm was going to come though. My wife and I looked up and wondered, it get here six hours early?' in West, officials painted a grim picture.
The big concern: anhydrous ammonia, a pungent gas with suffocating fumes that is used as a fertilizer.
The West Fertilizer Co. said it had 54,000 pounds of the chemical, The Dallas Morning News reported.
For the town, the danger may not be over.
Even though officials have turned off all the gas, they evacuated half the town because they were worried another tank at the facility might explode.
massive just like Iraq. Wilson of the Texas public safety department.
But fire officials fear that the number of casualties could rise Hypervenom Hyper Punch
was like a nuclear bomb went off, Muska said. old mushroom cloud. Wednesday night blast shook houses 50 miles away and measured as a 2.1 magnitude seismic event, according to the United States Geological Survey.
are a lot of people that got hurt, West Mayor Tommy Muska forewarned Wednesday night. are a lot of people that will not be here tomorrow.
Early Thursday morning, state troopers in gas masks manned roadblocks, waving away cars coming off the highway.
Deadly fertilizer plant blast devastates Texas town
(CNN) The full extent of the devastation will have to wait until the light of day Thursday. Hyperadapt 1.0 For Sale Ebay
When exposed to humans, it can cause severe burns if it combines with water in the body.
Five hours after the blast, carloads of the wounded continued to stream into area hospitals.
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West is a community of about 2,800 people, about 75 miles south of Dallas and 120 miles north of Austin. The town chamber of commerce touts it as Czech point of central Texas. immigrants arrived there in the 1880s and the community still maintains strong ties to their central European roots, with businesses named Czech Bakery and Czech Inn. ET.
The nursing home, with 133 residents, was quickly evacuated.
Officials offered differing figures for the death toll, with Sgt. William Patrick Swanton of the nearby Waco Police Department saying between five and 15 people had died.
While some of the injuries are minor, others were serious, said Glenn Robinson, the chief executive officer of Hillcrest Hospital in Waco.
Brad Smith lives 50 miles away and he felt his house shake from the explosion.
the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. Hypervenom Soccer Cleats was not immediately known. But its location next to an apartment complex, a nursing home and a middle school did not help matters.
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