Powerful explosion rocks small town north of Waco, Texas



Posted on April 17, 2013 at 7:29 PM

A large explosion rocked the town of West, Texas, 19 miles north of Waco, on Wednesday evening.

A source tells News 8, our sister station in Dallas, that a large swath of the small town with a population of 2,800 has been leveled.

According to initial reports, the blast shortly before 8 p.m. was at the West Fertilizer plant at 1471 Jerry Mashek Drive, about a half-mile east of Interstate 35.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed there were multiple injuries.

An emergency dispatcher appealed for more more help. "I need anybody and everybody," she said.

At least 10 structures are on fire in the town, including a school which is next door to the plant.

An emergency triage center was set up at the high school football field, where personnel were waiting for nine medical helicopters at 9:05 p.m.

Rescue vehicles from North Texas agencies are racing to the scene on I-35.

The town's community hospital is about four blocks from the burning fertilizer plant.

A shock wave from the explosion may have been felt in parts of North Texas and mistaken for an earthquake.

"I live in Groesbeck," wrote Rayne Sibley on WFAA's Facebook page. "I heard a large boom and my house shook."

Facebook users in Venus, Grandview, Cleburne, Ennis and Ferris also reported feeling the shock wave.

"Shook my doors!" wrote Nancy Procaccini of Combine. "Thought it was earthquake!"