WEST, Texas (AP) - A Texas law enforcement official says 12 bodies have been recovered following a massive explosion that leveled a fertilizer plant.
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes said Friday that about 200 people were injured in the explosion at facility Wednesday night in the small farming community of West, about 20 miles north of Waco.
Search and rescue crews have been sifting through the still-smoldering remains for survivors. That work continues. The blast crumpled dozens of homes, an apartment building, a school and a nursing home.
Authorities say there's no indication that the blast was anything other than an industrial accident sparked by a fire. The company has been cited for apparently minor safety and permitting violations over the past decade.
From previous story:
Search and rescue efforts are continuing in the neighborhoods surrounding the fertilizer plant destroyed in a devastating explosion that damaged blocks of homes and other buildings.
A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman said Friday that emergency personnel are still checking structures in the vicinity of the West Fertilizer Co. The search has been slowed by some buildings that must be stabilized before search teams can enter.
Authorities have confirmed the death of one firefighter - Dallas fire Capt. Kenny Harris lived south of West and rushed to the fire to volunteer. Authorities have not yet released a firm death toll from Wednesday's blast. More than 160 were injured.
Emergency workers say it's possible more residents will be allowed to venture closer to their homes Friday to assess the damage.
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