Frantic Search For Survivors After Deadly Texas Blast

Source: AP / CBS News

WEST, TEXAS – Rescue workers searched the smoldering ruins of a fertilizer plant Thursday for survivors of a monstrous explosion that leveled homes and businesses in every direction across the Texas prairie. As many as 15 people were feared dead and more than 160 others injured.

Daybreak revealed a breathtaking band of destruction extending outward from the West Fertilizer Co. in this small farming community about 20 miles north of Waco. The thunderous blast shook the ground with the strength of a small earthquake and could be heard dozens of miles away.

Several buildings with smashed roofs and leveled walls still were smoking early Thursday. An ATF official told CBS News that that the fire scene is still too hot for officials to start a serious investigation. Some initial responders may be near the site of the explosion, but any real investigation cannot begin until the scene cools.

“They have not gotten to the point of no return where they don’t think that there’s anybody still alive,” Waco Police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton said of rescuers.

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