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Many casualties in Texas Waco fertiliser plant blast


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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BzZE5pyyrU]Explosion At Texas Fert?l?zer Plant-Apr?l 18 - YouTube[/ame]


Many casualties in Texas Waco fertiliser plant blast


Scores of people are reported injured and an unknown number feared dead after a huge explosion at a fertiliser plant near Waco in the US state of Texas.


Dozens of homes and buildings have been destroyed, and several are still on fire, after the West Fertilizer plant exploded at about 19:50 (00:50 GMT).


Some people are thought still to be trapped in buildings and a number of firefighters are reported missing.


An official confirmed there were deaths, but could not give a figure. Dean Wilson, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a news conference that they were still conducting house-to-house searches.


He said the fire was still smouldering and that no firefighters were tackling it as there was the risk of further explosions. Half the town had been evacuated, he added.


The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that firefighters had been trying to put out a fire at the plant when the explosion happened, and that some were among those injured.


The blast happened in West, a town of about 2,700 people some 20 miles (32km) north of Waco. TV images showed streams of emergency vehicles descending on the site and ambulance crews using a nearby sports field as an emergency treatment area.


Glenn A Robinson, chief executive of Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, told CNN that his hospital had received 66 injured people including 38 who were seriously hurt. He said the hospital was seeing "everything from orthopaedic injuries to patients that are experiencing serious blood loss".


McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said: "It's a lot of devastation. I've never seen anything like this. It looks like a war zone with all the debris."



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