There are over 150 people hurt because of the fertilizer plant explosion near Waco.

A fire began at the West Fertilizer Company at about 7:30 last night and the explosion took place shortly before 8 o’clock. Waco Police Department spokesman W. Patrick Swanton says there are confirmed dead.

“I can tell you that it is estimated anywhere from 5 to 15 at this point,” Swanton said.

Swanton also said that first responders are among the missing.

“We are still missing several fire fighters on the scene fighting the fire,” Swanton stated.

Swanton says that nursing home patients are among the injured.

“I know there were numerous people injured at the nursing home that was being evacuated,” Swanton said.

And West Mayor Tommy Muska says many homes were damaged.

“Fifty to sixty houses in a five block radius were heavily damaged,” Muska said.

More than 100 of the injured were taken to Hillcrest Baptist Medical center. Another sixty were taken to Providence, where Heather Beck told KTRH they are working as hard as they can to help.

“We only had one patient in critical condition and that person has been upgraded to stable,” Beck said.


Police do not know if this was an accident.

“This is a crime scene. We are not indicating that this is a crime but we don’t know. Until we know this was an industrial accident we will work it as a crime scene,” Swanton said.

Shane Warner of KTRH’s sister station, Newstalk 1230, told Houston’s Morning News the town of West is too small to handle a catastrophe like this.

“It was not prepared logistically to deal with something this size and magnitude,” Warner said.