Residents of West, twenty miles north of Waco, were considering their futures and frantically searching for survivors today, after a fertilizer plant explosion leveled much of the community of 2500, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"I can't get to my home," said Crystal Ledane, who is one of hundreds who lost her home in the explosion, which was strong enough to register on the Richter Scale. "I've been displaced for the most part. I'm just fortunate that I have family here, and there is a place for me to go."
The death toll is '5 to 15,' with 160 people hospitalized, but officials say both of those figures are going to rise.
Sgt. William Patrick Swinton of the Waco Police, who is acting as a media contact for the crisis, says several people are missing, and they are believed to be volunteer firefighters, who were fighting the fire when the explosion took place.
One of the missing was found alive this morning, although with 'pretty serious injuries.'
Swinton says officials will work as hard as they can to find the missing, and he hopes to find more of them alive.
"There is no rush to hurry and move from a search and rescue to a recovery," he said. "I can assure you that we would much rather be in search and rescue mode."
Many of those who are hospitalized are suffering from lacerations and other serious injuries and Linda Goalzer of the Dallas Area Blood Bank says blood is needed.
"We will certainly need people with O-Negative blood," she said. "Anybody who is O-Negative should consider giving this week."
President Obama called Gov. Perry from Air Force One on his way to the memorial service in Boston today.
The White House says the president offered the full resources of FEMA and other federal agencies, and said his prayers are with the people of West.
Swinton said there has been a limited amount of looting in West.
"Whether they're going into homes or pilfering things they are finding on the streets, I don't know," Swinton said. "That is a significant concern to us."