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Search for Waco fertilizer plant blast survivors underway

  • Emergency services continue to search for survivors after a blast at a fertilizer plant in Texas killed between 5 and 15 people Wednesday night.

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

    According to officials, ammonia may have caused the explosion, which produced a tremor equivalent to a small earthquake. There is no evidence that the blast at West Fertilizer Company was anything other than an industrial accident, police have said. However, the site is still being treated as a crime scene and the death toll may rise.

    State Governor Rick Perry has declared the area a disaster and will request emergency federal aid from US President Barack Obama.

    The area remains at risk due to the presence of ammonium nitrate at the scene. Air quality and gas pipelines are being monitored for safety, while gas supplies have been disconnected until further notice.