Ed Driscoll

Explosion Near Waco, Texas

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As if there wasn’t enough news for one day, “Emergency crews in Texas are responding to two large explosions at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, near Waco,” Fox News reports:

Gayle Scarbrough, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety in Waco, told television station KWTX that DPS troopers have been transporting the injured to hospitals in their patrol cars. She says six helicopters were also en route.

The blast at West Fertilizer plant, reported shortly before 8 p.m. CT, was confirmed by Waco police dispatch operators. First responders are dealing with numerous injuries and major damage to structures and vehicles, Scarbrough said.

Several buildings, some in residential areas,  were reported to be burning, others destroyed, and a nearby nursing home was damaged, according to a report from KWTX

Initial reports say people are trapped in a nearby nursing home and an apartment building.

A local school football field is being setup as a staging area.

More at Twitchy, including photos from Twitter users in the area. And dramatic video of the explosion embedded above, from Waco’s KWKT-TV.

“West EMS Director Dr. George Smith says as many as 60 or 70 people died and hundreds were injured Wednesday night in a fertilizer plant explosion in West,” KWTX, another area TV station, ominously reports. “A rescuer earlier said he knew of five deaths.”

Though as we saw on Monday in Boston, early counts of injuries and casualties can vary widely from final reports.

Update: Judging by the sounds of the people in the car, I believe this is the same footage KWKT used, but from the raw cell phone camera, and not recomposited for a horizontal video format. But the sound of the blast and (presumbably) the son of the man shooting it from the window of his SUV shouting “Please get out of here! Please get out of here!” is more than a little disturbing:

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