Rescue workers in downtown West, about 20 miles north of Waco, Texas, searched rubble that witnesses compared to a war zone early Thursday for survivors of a fertilizer plant explosion that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others.
People reports the blast left the factory a smoldering ruin, leveled homes and businesses for blocks in every direction, shook the ground with the strength of a small earthquake and could be heard dozens of miles away – sending flames shooting into the night sky and rained burning embers, shrapnel and debris down on shocked and frightened residents. “They are still getting injured folks out and they are evacuating people from their homes,” Waco police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton said early Thursday morning. He added later, “At some point this will turn into a recovery operation, but at this point, we are still in search and rescue.”