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Texas Waco fertiliser plant blast search for survivors

Emergency services are searching for survivors after a blast at a f fertilizer plant in the US state of Texas killed between five and 15 people.

More than 160 people were injured and dozens of buildings destroyed in the town of West, near Waco.

Three or four volunteer firefighters are among the missing after the explosion, which produced a tremor equivalent to a small earthquake.

Emergency services officials said ammonia may have caused the explosion.

There is no indication that the blast and a fire which preceded it were anything other than industrial accidents, police say.

However, the site is being treated as a crime scene and the death toll could rise, officials warn.

Texas state Governor Rick Perry said he was declaring the area a disaster and would request an emergency declaration for federal aid from US President Barack Obama.

He said President Obama had offered any help needed.

Air quality and gas pipelines were being monitored for safety, he said. and gas supplies had been disconnected until any risk had passed.

Homes destroyed

The operation is still in “search-and-rescue mode” and has not yet moved to “recovery mode”, Waco police Sgt William Patrick Swanton told a news briefing on Thursday morning, some 12 hours after the explosion at 01:00 GMT (20:00 local time).

Between five and 15 people were killed, he said.

Read full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated October 22, 2016 at 12:31 PM
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