Anyone living in North Texas (AKA in the Dallas/Fort Worth area) is being advised to close all windows and bring any pets inside. There are very strong northern winds right now, and officials are concerned about the fumes from the plant, which could possibly contain hazardous chemicals. - TheCynicalIdealist
Waco is considered a safe zone
If you are experiencing any of the following;
Irritation of the eyes, nose throat,
Burns or blisters.
A pungent smell which feels suffocating
Get out of the area immediately - Use a cloth soaked in vinegar to breathe through (Thank you MumblesInTheCorner) - This is likely to be Anhydorus Ammonia - It clings to the floor/ground and can cause death in high exposure.
For those wanting to help
Aggieland Outfitters will pickup our RV from storage at 8:30am and set up at 9am in the POST OAK MALL parking lot in the area closest to Highway 6. Please bring bottled water, blankets, clothes, shoes, toilet paper, baby food, diapers, bottles, formula, toys for the kids, etc.
Please do not arrive before 9am. We cannot get the RV from storage until 8:30 and setup as soon as possible.
We will accept cash donations at the George Bush and University Drive stores and use 100% of the donations to purchase additional supplies. But please bring any supplies donations to the Post Oak Mall parking lot.
If you'd like to volunteer, please text HELPWEST to 99000 and we will let people know when/where we may need additional manpower to help with the efforts.
Anybody who can smell fertilizer and lives in the area of West is recommended to shut their windows (provided they aren't in west) and cover their mouths with a damp cloth. If it's strong and misty, please turn off your utilities and evacuate to a safe place. Tell somebody you are doing this as to avoid worrying your neighbors.
Those wanting to help out, please wait until tomorrow to allow residents and officials to take stock of what they are facing. It is unlikely you are able to do anything helpful right now, through no fault of your own - Even EMS are being turned away. Officials have said they do not require any more help currently and once they are able to see the area in day light, funds and drives will be set up to cover the residents' losses. Please if you live in the area, give blood at the respective places at the bottom of the comment. Please take care.
No details on the cause, however no suspicious motives have been considered. This is seemly an unfortunate accident.
West is being evacuated as of 12:00am (Local time)
75-100 buildings damaged and leveled due to the explosion.
A second tank is under threat from exploding with 200,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia (Thanks to darthn3ss and cjbest).
The triage center has been moved inside after danger from poisonous gases and further explosions.
A press conference held by D.L. Wilson (Department of Public Safety) in West Texas reports West requires no more help. 'Tremendous injuries with confirmed fatalities'.
An Apartment building with 50 apartments is now 'just skeleton standing there' and the nursing home ' 133 has been evacuated with unknown injuries'
A blood drive is being held tomorrow morning at 9:00 am - Look to your local medical centers for more information.
A no fly zone of 3 miles around the plant has been enforced by the FAA.
The plant is smoldering with fumes around.
Homes have been damaged. Reports indicate smashed windows, collapsed walls and ceilings.
Reports of feeling the shock wave from 50 miles away.
Some stations reporting 200 injured, 50-70 dead.
Hill Crest hospital has seen over 100 victims, lesser injuries luckily. The Fire Department is reporting wounded from homes, the retirement home and apartment complex.
The explosion created a 2.1 event according to the USGS at 8:50pm
Firefighters have been confirmed to be involved in the injured - No number or confirmation of deaths. They were also fighting the fire previous to the explosion at the plant, they are currently unaccounted for.
Expected Storm Front coming in - Anybody in the area, you should have an idea of how to prepare for these.
Fire Department expects fatalities to rise. The flames are still there but not as strong as previous. Currently (2:15 am local time) they are still trying to evacuate the area although this is taking time due to structural damage. They have also confirmed law enforcement officer is missing.
People confirmed trapped - They are still searching homes for more people - No comment on the status of these people.
Utilities are shutting off the blast zone and areas at risk.
Hazmat teams are on the ground, an incident command post is set up, law enforcement command post set up, working with local meteorologists. Over 700 EMS on site.
At 7:00 am the winds will shift from southerlies to northerlies.
A group of firefighters have the fires under the tanks under control - They feel comfortable with the safety of no more explosions. The secondary explosions are no longer a threat.
The full extent of the devastation will have to wait until the light of day Thursday. But residents of the small Texas town of West already know what to expect.
"There are a lot of people that got hurt," West Mayor Tommy Muska forewarned Wednesday night. "There are a lot of people that will not be here tomorrow."
A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant on the edge of the town killed an estimated five to 15 people, wounded more than 160, leveled dozens of homes and prompted authorities to evacuate half their community of 2,800.