UPDATE: 4-22-2013 2:00 PM EST
The White House says President Barack Obama will attend a memorial service for victims of the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas.
Last week’s blast left 14 people dead and injured 200 others.
Here, an aerial picture shows the massive destruction from the explosion, which left most of the town leveled.
UPDATE: 2:30 PM EST
Another video of the violent blast is now being circulated.
According to ThinkProgress, the plant had not undergone a safety check in five years, however, it reported to the EPA that it presented no risk of fire or explosion.
UPDATE: 11:10AM EST
During a presser, Waco PD stated a search and rescue is still going on as “a slow and methodical process.”
UPDATE: 9:30AM EST
Local police can only confirm 5-15 dead and 160+ injured, but they fear both numbers will rise as they continue to search the area.
During a presser, they also stated that although they don’t believe there was any foul play, they are handling the area as a crime scene.
UPDATE: 1:00AM EST
D.L. Wilson, public safety spokesperson, addressed the media in a short press conference where he stated the fire is mostly out, but he cannot confirm the death toll. He also stated all injured have been taken care of and they will continue to house search for others throughout the night.
He also compared the size of this tragedy to what we’ve seen in Iraq, as well as the Oklahoma City bombing.
UPDATE: 12:45AM EST
Mayor Tommy Muska of West, TX told CNN that 60-80 private homes have been destroyed. He also states the fire is currently under control, although it is not out yet.
A fertilizer plant exploded earlier this evening in West, Texas, resulting in a number of fatalities.
Local Texas news station, KWTX reports:
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.
A rescuer earlier said he knew of five deaths.
Meanwhile, emergency crews were pulling back late Wednesday night because of concerns about the possibility of a second explosion.
Emergency crews from throughout Central Texas responded just before 8 p.m. Wednesday after the first explosion at the plant in the small town north of Waco.
The explosion was reported at around 7:50 p.m. in a frantic radio call from the scene of the fire at West Fertilizer at 1471 Jerry Mashek Dr. just off Interstate 35.
The fire started in an anhydrous ammonia tank and spread to the building, authorities said.
The resulting explosion spread the fire to the Middle School and to a nearby nursing home.
The blast was felt throughout the city and as far away as Hillsboro, Whitney and Blum.
Most of the injuries resulted from debris being thrown from the blast, glass, doors and other shrapnel, authorities said.
Everyone within one mile of the fire was ordered to evacuate.
Numerous injuries were reported and multiple ambulances were requested.
About 60 people had been taken to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center shortly before 10 p.m.
By 10:45 p.m. 61 injured victims had been admitted to Hillcrest, 44 of whom were in serious condition.
Two young victims were transferred to Scott & White Children’s Hospital in Temple, a hospital official said.
And, to give you an idea of how intense the explosion was, here is how it registered on a seismograph in Amarillo, TX:
This story is developing…