Emergency workers are hard at work treating the victims of the explosion of a Texas fertilizer plant just north of Waco. The initial fertilizer plant explosion happened just before 8:00 p.m. Central time with another happening at 10:00 p.m Central time. Currently, reports are stating that 120+ people were injured in the blasts. Earlier, however, a spokesman of the Texas Department of Public Safety estimated that it was even higher, stating that 200 people were injured, with 40 of suffering critical injuries. There is not currently an official toll of how many people have died, but emergency personnel are bracing for the possibility that the number could be in the several dozens.
Local hospitals have opened their doors and many are calling in their entire staff to take care of the wounded. Hill Regional Hospital in Hillsboro has stated that they have treated 66 patients, with more than half of them suffering from serious injuries. Baptist Hillcrest Medical Center has treated nearly 30 people and they are expecting almost that many more to come to them tonight. Providence Hospital in Waco told FOX News that they've received 24 patients and expect 20 more.
Initially firefighters were taken to the scene of the incident because the structure was still smoldering; however, due to the existence of dangerous chemicals used in the fertilizer manufacturing process, they have been pulled out. State Trooper D.L. Wilson of the Texas Department of Public Safety stated, "We're worried about people right now, not property."
Beyond the dozens of people injured, the small town surrounding the plant has suffered immense property damage, as well as the death of several household pets, with somewhere in the vicinity of 75 to 100 homes being completely leveled. West City Councilwoman Cherly Marak said that the scenario was "total chaos." One resident of the local town said that their house was completely destroyed in the aftermath, with the ceiling, windows and bricks being completed blown out.
According to a member of the city council, the surrounding four-block area is completely destroyed, with the destruction being compared to the 1995 bomb blast in Oklahoma City. The mayor of the city stated that the city needs "your prayers."