Explosion at fertiliser plant rocks US town
An explosion has ripped through a fertiliser plant in the US town of West sending a massive fireball into the sky and leaving scores of people injured, two days after the Boston bombings.
However, initial reports suggested that there was no evidence of an act of terror in the incident.
"The explosion happened Wednesday night at a fertiliser plant in the community north of Waco," a dispatcher with the West, Texas, Fire Department has said.
Gayle Scarbrough, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety in Waco, said that DPS troopers have been transporting the injured to hospitals in their patrol cars. She said that six helicopters were also en route to the site.
A photo taken after the explosion, which reportedly happened around 7.50 pm (local time), showed a huge plume of smoke rising high into the air. There are reports of serious damage and as many as 100 people injured.
The Waco Tribune reported that several people, including firefighters, were injured and that several buildings were on fire including a school.
There were also reports of people trapped in a nursing home and at an apartment building. A hospital in Waco, Texas, has been told to anticipate 100 injured people coming in from the fertiliser plant area, an official at the medical facility said.
The West Fertiliser Plant is located about 32 kilometres north of Waco. A school and a nursing home are among the buildings near the plant. Shortly after the incident, officials shut down access access to the plant and evacuated people from homes near the facility.
The explosion caused a power outage and could be heard and felt for kilometres. On Monday, during the polpular Boston Marothon, bomb blasts ripped through a cheering crowd, killed three people and injuring more than 180.