Huge fertilizer plant explosion rocks West, Texas [photos]; Updates

There are reports of multiple injuries following an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Reports say the blast could be felt up to 65 miles away.

WKTX reports:

Emergency crews from throughout Central Texas responded Wednesday night after a major explosion at a burning fertilizer plant in West north of Waco. West firefighters were dispatched to the plant earlier in the evening after an earlier fire rekindled. The explosion was reported at around 7:50 p.m. in a frantic radio call from the scene of the fire at West Fertilizer at 1471 Jerry Mashek Dr. just off Interstate 35. Numerous injuries were reported and multiple ambulances were requested. Several buildings were reported destroyed and a nearby nursing home was damaged.

Twitchy will update with details as they become available.

Anderson Cooper, who is employed by CNN, would rather be right than first.

Editor’s note: We’ve removed a photo that has been reported as unrelated to the West, Texas explosion.

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Incredible video of the explosion here.

The entire town of West, Texas, is being evacuated.

Another incredible photo:

Stopped in to get gas on my drive back from Austin to Dallas and a huge blast rocked the entire foundation of this place! A little scary...

So awful.

Some West residents are being taken to Waco, about 20 miles south:

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Some media outlets are reporting 5-15 dead.

This is lower than last night’s estimates, but the numbers may rise as additional bodies are discovered at daylight.

  • Joan Of Argghh!

    Reports of several bldgs affected. Ppl trapped in nursing home. “All In” alert to medical community.

  • Tom Anderson

    Prayers to all….

  • annoyinglittletwerp

    I live in Lubbock. Prayers for my fellow west Texans.

    • Peyton

      It’s actually near Waco, but prayers are definitely needed with an explosion like that.

  • Peyton

    In addition to the immediate damage, I’m sure burning fertilizer isn’t good for one’s health.

    • TracyJean

      Nope. Local news twitter accounts reporting fire trucks are being ordered to pull back from the plant because of chemicals

  • TJ

    Eerie looking Mushroom cloud.

  • CHHR

    Live scanner feed: heartbreaking to listen to…

  • Bonnie Hoofer

    Our prayers and thoughts go out to everyone in West..

  • TracyJean

    They’re pulling in emergency crews from Dallas, 65 miles north. I have a friend whose daughter lives in Maypearl (in Ellis County, which is south of Dallas County) and it felt like an earthquake. The local Fox station showed an apartment building which has no second floor anymore – it collapsed. This is a small town – about 2800 people – so this is going to have a BIG effect.

  • TracyJean

    Latest tweet from @DFWscanner – “West, TX Explosion *UPDATE – ALL CareFlite helicopters (DFW air medical company) are currently en route to West.”

  • nc

    Oh God, no.

  • William J. Miller

    Texas City April 16, 1947. West April 17. 2013. I join my fellow Texans and Americans in keeping the area in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Rusty Jewell

      thinking the same thing.

    • AWomaninTX

      Scoot & White in Temple is holding a drive for all types.
      My thoughts are with the West community as well.

    • Muslimah2012

      Waco Siege April 18th 1993, Oklahoma bomb April 18th 1995….just to add to your list.

  • Shegril

    Prayers and thoughts to all those involved from New Orleans, Louisiana to our neighbors in Texas.

  • kate_middleton

    Horrible. I really hope the casualty reports turn it to be false.


  • daveachicagoareajamerican

    It hasn’t been a very good week in America. Thoughts and prayers to West, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Coach Pete

    not good

  • Darthkuriboh

    Unbelievable. I hope to God that the people of West are going to be okay.

  • TeslaRawks
  • Reuven


  • Rusty Jewell

    Boston must have been caused by a Muslim and a distraction was needed.

    • Chico Hinojos

      boston staged by obama

      • rinodino

        Politics from the right before the smoke has cleared: clown behavior as usual

        • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

          Like those who (instantly) blamed Boston on The Tea Party, Angry Taxpayers, and Conservatives? Buy a vowel, and a few more brain cells…. Jawamax 8<{D}

    • Muslimah2012

      That is the most unintelligent thing I have read here. I am a Texan and am very devastated by the losses in Boston and Texas. I am also a Muslim. You should find out what the difference between what a Muslim and a terrorist is. My prayers go out to all who are affected by this tragedy.

  • Bobby Upchurch

    (ground zero explosion, warning, lower volume)

  • QBallBrazil

    To: The Universe

    Can we call for time out? Give us a chance to catch our breath?

    From: Human Race, Earth

  • WhatADeal20

    Prayers from Joplin, Missouri.

  • Jeff Bonasse

    minor issue but Waco is east Texas. Prayers for the families of this east Texas town.

    • Erin

      I know you mean well, but the town is actually called West. And it’s in central Texas, not east Texas.

    • Tom Anderson

      If I understand the reports correctly, the town is named West.

    • Leigh Ables Hopkins

      the town of West, Texas is located 19 miles N of Waco, which is in central Texas.

  • Tom Anderson

    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this incident in West. What a horrible thing to have happen. I live in a small town, so I understand how this will affect this town and its economy for a long long time. I’m with you all in spirit. Godspeed.

  • Lamontyoubigdummy

    Dear media idiots,

    As a Baylor Alumnus (who happened to be both enrolled and paying attention during the Branch Davidian dust up)…”West” Texas is actually a town in central Texas…20 minutes down I-35 from Waco. Little Polish joint. Wonderful place. Fantastic people, sausage & kolaches. Willie Nelson’s sister use’d to run the “Turkey Shop” down the road in Abbot.


    A$$holes media…all of you.

    • Mkurosai

      Actually, it’s a Czech town. I stopped there on my drive back home, picked up some great baked goods. Thank you for pointing out that West is the name of the city.

    • Roto

      And West is about 20 mi. south of Carl’s Corner — my body was there at Willie Nelson’s 1987 4th of July picnic :-)

  • Roto

    CNN’s Erin Burnett can’t possibly understand how a “rural area” could have a nursing home and an apartment complex??? Gee Erin, flyover much?

    • daveachicagoareajamerican

      I wonder if she’ll report on anyone in custody? CNN looked especially foolish earlier today covering Boston.

      • Roto

        All the CNN reporters are hitting Wiki to find out what fertilizer is….
        [HAAhaaha… the locals set up the Press Command Center at a cattle sale pen!!]

  • Roto

    The Mayor of West had about enough of snooty Piers Morgan’s stupid interview questions, “… we’re going through a house-by-house search and rescue. Ok?”

  • John Galt

    Praying for the people of Waco.

  • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

    Praying for the citizens of West and Waco…And for the First Responders, who have to deal with a difficult task… Jawamax 8<{D}

  • Kace Johnson

    I went to a Waco plant explosion attorney because of a situation like this. It was interesting to see his point of view on the situation.