Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Kills 5 to 15 People, Injures 180

A devastating chemical explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked a small town north of Waco, Texas yesterday evening, leaving between 5 and 15 people dead and sending 180 to the hospital for minor to severe injuries. The blast reportedly flattened buildings, lifted concrete blocks, and caused massive flames. The community, of about 2,600 people, has been told to evacuate due to poor air quality from the fumes, according to Yahoo.

Sgt. William Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department told reporters, “We are not indicating that it is a crime, but we don't know. What that means to us is that until we know that it is an industrial accident, we will work it as a crime scene. ATF [the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] is conducting the main investigation.”

Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene and treated injured residents, which were later taken to nearby hospitals. Many spectators compared the incident to "a loud bomb" going off. Glenn A. Robinson, the chief executive of Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, urges family members affected to call a hotline posted for information on their loved ones.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the community.