PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

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April 17, 2013

Several injured in Texas plant explosion

WACO — (AP) — An explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco caused numerous injuries and sent flames shooting high into the night sky on Wednesday.

Department of Public Safety troopers were using their squad cars to transport those injured by the blast and fire at the plant in West, a community north of Waco, Gayle Scarbrough, a spokeswoman for the department’s Waco office, told television station KWTX. She said six helicopters were also en route to help out.

The explosion at West Fertilizer was reported shortly before 8 p.m. in a frantic call from the scene, KWTX reported.

A West Fire Department dispatcher told The Associated Press that any casualties would be transported to hospitals in Waco, which is about 90 miles north of Austin.

The explosion knocked out power to many area customers and could be heard and felt for miles around.

Brad Smith, who lives 45 miles north of West in Waxahachie, told the station that he and his wife heard what sounded like a thunderclap.

Lydia Zimmerman, told KWTX that she, her husband and daughter were in their garden in Bynum, 13 miles from West, when they heard multiple blasts.

“It sounded like three bombs going off very close to us,” she said.

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